Multiple uses of flowers may affect innate preferences

Some solitary insects use flowers for more than one activity; for example, beetles may congregate, mate, and lay eggs within a flower or inflorescence, and some moths both pollinate flowers and oviposit on leaves of the same plant. In such cases, innate preferences can serve multiple functions, leading an insect to either a food source, a mate, or a host plant. Beetles and flies that aggregate and mate in flowers or inflorescences are attracted to dark spots on petals, which may mimic resting insects and so attract potential pollinators (Dafni et al. 1990; Johnson & Midgley 1997). Deceptive pollination systems, including carrion and pseudocopulation mimicry, take further advantage of innate attractions, luring insects to flowers using cues associated with other behavioral contexts (Dafni 1984).

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