Pollination and Reproduction in Dianthus Silvester Wulf

  • Andreas Erhardt


Dianthus silvester Wulf. is a widely distributed but not too common plant species which occurs in Central and South European mountain ranges (Hegi 1979). The morphology of the flower has been described already by Müller (1881). However, only scanty observations on pollinators have been reported so far. Müller (1881) observed the sphingid Macroglossum stellatarum L. but stated, based on the morphology of the flower, that Dianthus silvester is pollinated by long tongued butterflies, e.g. Papilio machaon L. Knuth (1898) also reports one observation of Macroglossum stellatarum. Although no observations of pollinating butterflies have been reported so far, the statement of Müller (1881) has been accepted for almost a full century (Hegi 1979). The aim of the present study was to observe pollinators of Dianthus silvester in the field, to analyze the chemical composition of the floral nectar and to investigate the breeding system of Dianthus silvester. Observations at night disclosed that the noctuid moth Hadena compta Schiff. is most likely the prime pollinator of Dianthus silvester. This is of particular interest since this moth also uses Dianthus silvester as a larval host.


Male Flower Larval Host Floral Nectar Labial Palp Stigma Lobe 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Erhardt
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanisches Institut der Universität BaselBaselSwitzerland

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