, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 39–45

Form-specific fragances fromOphrys insectifera L. (Orchidaceae) attract species of different pollinator genera. Evidence of sympatric speciation?


  • Anna-Karin Borg-Karlson
    • Department of Organic ChemistryThe Royal Institute of Technology
    • Ecological Research Station of Uppsala University
  • Inga Groth
    • Department of Chemical EcologyGothenburg University
    • Ecological Research Station of Uppsala University
  • Lennart Ågren
    • Ecological Research Station of Uppsala University
  • Bertil Kullenberg
    • Ecological Research Station of Uppsala University
Research papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF01245895

Cite this article as:
Borg-Karlson, A., Groth, I., Ågren, L. et al. Chemoecology (1993) 4: 39. doi:10.1007/BF01245895


Two closely related forms ofOphrys insectifera were observed in the field to attract different pollinator species selectively.O. i. ssp.insectifera attracted males of two species ofArgogorytes (Sphecidae, Hymenoptera Aculeata) andO. i. ssp.aymoninii attractedAndrena combinata males (Andrenidae, Apoidea, Hymenoptera Aculeata). A third form,O. aff.i. ssp.insectifera, attracted none of these three species. Volatile compounds from flowers and inflorescences of the three forms (originating from Öland, Sweden, and Aveyron, France) were collected, using entrainment, enfleurage, and solvent extraction techniques, and identified by gas chromatography — mass spectrometry. Scent differences between the three forms were confirmed in the amounts of aliphatic hydrocarbons (C11–C19), methyl esters (C14–C18), short chain aliphatic 1-alcohols (C6–C12), and monoterpene alcohols (C10).

Key words

pollinationsemiochemicalsattractantsaliphatic alcoholsaliphatic hydrocarbonsaliphatic methyl esterslinaloolHymenoptera AculeataAndrenaArgogorytesOrchidaceaeOphrysOsmia

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1993