Documentation on the visiting profile of Quaker and Lime Blue to their native host plants as pollinating agents
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The native host plants bearing wildflowers with overlapping blooming periods provide resource for the butterflies, the significant pollinators next to bees. Few of the behavioural features of these diurnal pollinators are co adapted to the phenology as well as fragrance chemistry or floral morphologies of their host plants establishing an ecological specialization state often maintained by stabilizing selection. Such specialization may lead to the considerable variation among reproductive success rates of the host plants. Thus, species specific pollinating attributes over the seasonal continuum of the pollinators towards their common host plants may provide idea about their pollinating potentiality. Lycaenids, with 443 Indian species, are commonly termed as ‘blues’. Two representative species, the Quaker and Lime Blue are selected on the basis of their moderate to high abundance level in the study area. Few of their prominent ecological and ethological features concerned to their host plant visiting patterns are reported. The present study is important for highlighting the role of native pollinators to maintain the regional to landscape level floral diversity. The significance of conservation of such global bioindicators also cannot be neglected.
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