Koptur, Suzanne .
Visitors to extrafloral nectaries of Senna mexicana var. chapmanii in south Florida.
Foliar nectaries of many species are known to attract ants and other insects, many which promote plant protection. Ants tend to dominate nectar resources, but in areas where ants are not abundant, nectaries are frequently visited by other insects. Senna mexicana (aka Cassia bahamensis) plants were planted in a restoration site to conduct a controlled field experiment. Crawling insects were excluded from some plants using sticky resin (tanglefoot) on bases of branches. Nectar visitors were discouraged by covering the plants' foliar nectaries with nail polish. Ants were significantly less numerous on tanglefoot plants than control plants, and several predator types (spiders, wasps, and ladybugs) were more abundant on these plants from which ants were excluded. Caterpillar numbers were similar among all treatments and controls. Ants were less numerous on plants with nectaries covered with nail polish, but more common than on tanglefoot plants. Parasitoids (mainly tachinid flies) were observed at nectaries and were commonly reared from pierid butterfly caterpillars, the major herbivores of the plants.
1 - Florida International University, Dept. of Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th St., Miami, Florida, 33199, USA
Presentation Type: Paper
Location: Wasatch (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2004
Time: 2:30 PM