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Letters to Nature
Nature 267, 150 - 151 (12 May 1977); doi:10.1038/267150a0

Krameria, free fatty acids and oil-collecting bees


*Department of Botany, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 20560
Division of Natural Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064
Department of Botany, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 61801

VOGEL'S report1,2 of the production of glycerides rather than nectar as rewards gathered by bees described an association involving several genera of insects and numerous plant families. We report here that members of the Krameriaceae produce floral lips more unusual than those described by Vogel2. Our data also provide evidence that the oils of Krameria are collected by bees of only one genus, Centris (Anthophoridae), and used, mixed with pollen, as larval food.



1. Vogel, S., Abstr. ninth int. bot. Congr., Seattle 299 (1969).
2. Vogel, S. Naturwissenschaften 58, 58 (1971); ibid 63, 44 (1976); Olblumen und olsammelnde Bienen (Steiner, Wiesbaden, 1974); Fifteenth int. ent. Congr., Washington, D. C., Aug 19–27 (1976).
3. Michener, C. D. & Lange, R. B. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 39, 69–96 (1958).
4. Silvestri, F. Redia 1, 1–234 (1903).
5. Baker, H. G. & Baker, I. in Coevolution of Animals and Plants (ed. Gilbert, L. & Raven, P. H.) 100–140 (University of Texas, Austin, 1975).
6. Stanley, R. G. & Linskins, H. F. (eds) Pollen: Biology, Biochemistry, Management (Springer, New York, 1974); Lunden, R. Grana Palynol. 1(2), 3–19 (1956).

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