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Nectar robbing in the trainbearers (Lesbia, Trochilidae)

Nectar robbing in the trainbearers (Lesbia, Trochilidae)
Nectar robbing in the trainbearers (Lesbia, Trochilidae)
Many flower visitors engage in floral larceny, a suite of so-called’illegitimate’visits in which foragers take nectar without providing pollination services. The data on prevalence of illegitimate visits among hummingbirds, as well as the total proportion of foraging and diet that such visits comprise is broadly lacking. Here, we report the occurrence of nectar larceny in the two currently recognized species of trainbearers and analyze the proportion of plant visits categorized by mode of interaction as: robbing, theft, and/or pollination. We augment our original field observations using a trove of data from citizen science databases. Although it is difficult to distinguish primary vs. secondary robbing and theft vs. pollination, we conservatively estimate that ca. 40% of the recorded nectar foraging visits involve nectar robbing. Males appear to engage in robbing marginally more than females, but further studies are necessary to confidently examine the multi-way interactions among sex, species, mode of visitation, and other factors. Our results also indicate that the suggested relationship between serrations on bill tomia and traits such as nectar robbing or territorial defense may be complicated. We discuss the significance of these findings in the context of recent developments in study of nectar foraging, larceny, and pollination from both avian and plant perspectives.
2167-8359
e9561
Igić, Boris
dd0ea63c-817f-45be-a44e-a75945a155f9
Nguyen, Ivory
5fbd9586-f6d6-444c-a6aa-e66c3a6543a4
Fenberg, Phillip
c73918cd-98cc-41e6-a18c-bf0de4f1ace8
Igić, Boris
dd0ea63c-817f-45be-a44e-a75945a155f9
Nguyen, Ivory
5fbd9586-f6d6-444c-a6aa-e66c3a6543a4
Fenberg, Phillip
c73918cd-98cc-41e6-a18c-bf0de4f1ace8

Igić, Boris, Nguyen, Ivory and Fenberg, Phillip (2020) Nectar robbing in the trainbearers (Lesbia, Trochilidae). PeerJ, 8, e9561. (doi:10.7717/peerj.9561).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Many flower visitors engage in floral larceny, a suite of so-called’illegitimate’visits in which foragers take nectar without providing pollination services. The data on prevalence of illegitimate visits among hummingbirds, as well as the total proportion of foraging and diet that such visits comprise is broadly lacking. Here, we report the occurrence of nectar larceny in the two currently recognized species of trainbearers and analyze the proportion of plant visits categorized by mode of interaction as: robbing, theft, and/or pollination. We augment our original field observations using a trove of data from citizen science databases. Although it is difficult to distinguish primary vs. secondary robbing and theft vs. pollination, we conservatively estimate that ca. 40% of the recorded nectar foraging visits involve nectar robbing. Males appear to engage in robbing marginally more than females, but further studies are necessary to confidently examine the multi-way interactions among sex, species, mode of visitation, and other factors. Our results also indicate that the suggested relationship between serrations on bill tomia and traits such as nectar robbing or territorial defense may be complicated. We discuss the significance of these findings in the context of recent developments in study of nectar foraging, larceny, and pollination from both avian and plant perspectives.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 25 June 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 August 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 443911
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/443911
ISSN: 2167-8359
PURE UUID: c1c03cb0-0ed6-4bef-b640-d2e827834820

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Sep 2020 16:35
Last modified: 06 Oct 2020 21:13

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