How spiders can harm and help flowering plants

How spiders can harm and help flowering plants

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Now researchers show that this principle also holds for crab spiders and flowering plants. While it’s true that the spiders do eat or drive away useful pollinators such as bees, they’re also attracted by floral scent signals to come and help if the plant is attacked by insects intent on eating it. Crab spiders sitting on the flowers keep away bees and also plant-eating insects from visiting the plants. Credit: Anina C. Knauer Interactions between organisms such as plants and animals can…

Read More

Lizards, mice, bats and other vertebrates are important pollinators, too

Lizards, mice, bats and other vertebrates are important pollinators, too

Study reviews the global importance of vertebrate pollinators for plant reproduction Bees are not the only animals that carry pollen from flower to flower. Species with backbones, among them bats, birds, mice, and even lizards, also serve as pollinators. Although less familiar as flower visitors than insect pollinators, vertebrate pollinators are more likely to have co-evolved tight relationships of high value to the plants they service, supplying essential reproductive aid for which few or no other species may substitute. In plants known to receive flower visitations from vertebrates, fruit and…

Read More