Learning abilities in pollinators have important implications for the evolution of their flowers. Although a simple model of floral evolution could involve pollinator behaviors based solely on innate responses, a range of floral features, including complex morphologies, color changes, temporally variable patterns of anthesis and nectar availability, and spatial arrangement of flowers along a trapline, may be better explained by the pollinators' ability to learn. Below, I briefly discuss two such floral features - complex morphologies and color changes - responses to which have been shown to involve learning by non-hymenopteran pollinators.
Plants take advantage of pollinator motor learning ability by producing flowers with complex morphologies, in which access to nectar or pollen rewards is not immediately obvious. Once a pollinator arrives at a flower, initial motor patterns are likely to be innate, and may be released by particular colors or patterns (Lunau 1988; Lunau & Maier 1995). Beyond the innate responses, however, learning is also involved. For bumble bees,
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