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Angraecum striatum
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ANGRÆCORUM
Angraecum striatum
Angraecum striatum

Genus Angraecum

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Angraecum striatum
Photo courtesy and © Marjolijn Lopes Cardozo
Angraecum striatum
Angraecum striatum
Photo courtesy M.Frairot
En forêt tropicale © 2004-2009
 
Angraecum striatum

Kingdom

Plantae

Division

Magnoliophyta

Class

Liliopsida

Order

Asparagales

Family

Orchidaceae

Subfamily

Vandoïdeae Endl.

Tribe

Vandaeae Lindl.

Subtribe

Angraecinae Summerh.

Alliance

Angraecum

Genus

Angraecum

Genus Abreviation

Angcm

Common Name

 

Section

Hadrangis Schltr.

Species

Angraecum striatum

Authority

Thou.

Source

Thouars, Hist.Orchid.: 72 (1822)

Synonyms

 

Etymology

lat. striatum = striped

Distribution

Reunion

Altitude

 

Life Form

Epiphytic chamaephyte

Flowers

 

Flowering time

 

Fragrance

 

   
Angraecum striatum visited by Zosterops borbonicus
Video capture Jacques Fournel and Claire Micheneau
Angraecum striatum being pollinated by Zosterops borbonicus
Photo courtesy Thierry Pailler


When studying Angraecum sesquipedale, Charles Darwin theorised that, since the nectar was at the bottom of the spur, a pollinator must exist with a tongue at least as long as the spur. Otherwise the orchid could never be pollinated. At the time, he was not believed. However, long after Darwin's death, the predicted pollinator was discovered, a hawk moth now named Xanthopan morganii praedicta (praedicta meaning predicted). It had an appropriately long proboscis. This was a perfect example of mutual dependence of an orchid and a specific pollinator.

Reunion is rather poor in insects and moths that are the main angraecum pollinators on Madagascar. Until recently, pollination on Reunion has been an open question. Only in 2005, Claire Micheneau and Thierry Pailler, two biologists of Reunion University discovered the pollinator.

Many nights and days of human observation had not brought the answer. A video camera was installed and after more than two years, in June 2005 it was discovered that a small bird, Zosterops borbonicus (z'oiseau blanc, also called z'oizeau gris) endemic to Reunion Island, was the pollinator. It pollinates the flower while drinking the nectar with his long, conic beak.

Like with Darwin's theory, this was again a perfect example of mutual dependence of an orchid and a specific pollinator.

References

Claire Micheneau
Exposition de Phylogénie moléculaire de la sous-tribu des Angraecinae (Vandae, Orchidaceae) et évolution des interactions plantes pollénisateurs à La Réunion (Mascareignes, océan Indien)
Thesis at Reunion University, 28 November 2005

Claire Micheneau, M. F., Fay, Marc W. Chase, Barbara Carlsward & Thierry Pailler.
Molecular phylogeny of the large afro-Malagasy subtribe Angraecinae (Orchidaceae)
Lecture at the symposium on
New Perspectives On The Systematics & Ecology Of Orchids
18/20 November 2004 At the University of Toulouse

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