Non Bee Pollinators-Plant Interaction

  • Dharam P. Abrol


Global inventories of biodiversity indicate that more than 100,000 different animal species – and perhaps as many as 200,000 – play roles in pollinating the 250,000 kinds of wild flowering plants on this planet. Only 15% of these crops are serviced by domestic honey bees, while at least 80% are pollinated by wild bees and other wildlife. In addition to countless bees, number of non bee pollinators such as wasps, moths, butterflies, flies, beetles and other invertebrates, perhaps 1,500 species of vertebrates such as birds, bats and non-flying mammals (several species of monkey, marsupials, primates, rodents, lemur, tree squirrels) have long been reported to visit flowers and serve as effective pollinators. Birds represent a group of animals that have evolved in parallel with flowering plants along lines of pollination syndromes. Hummingbirds are the best-known wildlife pollinators, but perching birds, flying foxes, fruit bats, possums, lemurs and even a gecko function as effective pollinators. Mammals are not generally known for their pollinating activities, but one group stands out as an exception - the nectar feeding bats. There are also examples of marsupial mammals serving as pollinators, as shown by the “honey possum” of Australia, and there have even been reports of pollination being effected by rodent species. Globally, over 100 species of birds and mammals in 60 genera of vertebrate pollinators are already listed as endangered and untold numbers of invertebrates are at risk as well. Much more research is still required to understand the importance of these animals in pollination.


Pollen Load Passerine Bird Female Cone Beetle Pollination Male Cone 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Entomology Faculty of AgricultureSher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and TechnologyJammuIndia

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