, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 197–201

The effect of proboscis and corolla tube lengths on patterns and rates of flower visitation by bumblebees

  • David W. Inouye

DOI: 10.1007/BF00346460

Cite this article as:
Inouye, D.W. Oecologia (1980) 45: 197. doi:10.1007/BF00346460


The rates at which bumblebees of different proboscis lengths forage on flowers of a series of corolla tube lengths were determined. The results indicate significant correlations between proboscis length and time spent by bees on flowers. Bumblebees of long proboscis length can forage significantly faster than bees of shorter proboscis length on flowers with long corolla tubes. There is also evidence which suggests that bumblebees of short proboscis length prefer and are more efficient on short corolla tubes. These results support the use of proboscis length as a morphological indicator of resource utilization in bumblebees.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • David W. Inouye
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Rocky Mountain Biological LaboratoryCrested ButteUSA
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MarylandCollege Park