, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 39–45 | Cite as

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

  • Anna-Karin Borg-Karlson
  • Inga Groth
  • Lennart Ågren
  • Bertil Kullenberg
Research papers


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

pollination semiochemicals attractants aliphatic alcohols aliphatic hydrocarbons aliphatic methyl esters linalool Hymenoptera Aculeata Andrena Argogorytes Orchidaceae Ophrys Osmia 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna-Karin Borg-Karlson
    • 1
    • 3
  • Inga Groth
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lennart Ågren
    • 3
  • Bertil Kullenberg
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Organic ChemistryThe Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EcologyGothenburg UniversityGöteborgSweden
  3. 3.Ecological Research Station of Uppsala UniversityFärjestadenSweden

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