Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 253, Issue 1–4, pp 185–200 | Cite as

Specific pollinator attraction and the diversification of sexually deceptive Chiloglottis (Orchidaceae)



Evidence indicates that sexually deceptive Chiloglottis R.Br. (Orchidaceae) taxa specifically attract their thynnine wasp (Tiphiidae) pollinators through the floral odour mimicry of female wasp sex pheromones. We use amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) to reconstruct the species-level phylogeny of Chiloglottis, make a preliminary evaluation of genetic distinctions between species, and compare the historical association among orchids and their pollinators using wasp sequence data from a previous study. AFLPs show large differences between three sub-generic clades relative to that found among species within each clade. Interspecific genetic barriers are indicated by AFLP discontinuities among species unlike in previously reported DNA sequence data. However, such barriers are demonstrated clearly in only one of the two pairs of sympatric species sampled more intensively. We interpret these patterns as indicating either (i) a rapid and recent radiation of species within each clade following histories of stasis or extinction, or (ii) alternating cycles of divergence and gene flow acting to homogenize genetic differences among species within each of the three clades.


Adaptive radiation AFLP cospeciation cryptic species pseudocopulation sexual deception ethological isolation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Botany and ZoologyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Royal Botanic Gardens SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Geobotanical InstituteETH-ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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