Bumblebee foraging responses to variation in floral scent and color in snapdragons (Antirrhinum: Scrophulariaceae)

  • Odell E
  • Raguso R
  • Jones K
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JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. The University of Notre Dame is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The American Midland Naturalist This content downloaded from on Tue, 16 Aug 2016 15:49:23 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms ABSTRACT.-We examined the roles of floral scent and color in attracting bumblebees (Bombus spp.) to snapdragon flowers (Antirrhinum, Sonnet cultivar). Corolla color differ-ences covaried with differences in floral scent emissions in two inbred lines of snapdragon. White-flowered plants emitted methyl cinnamate, a scent compound not produced by yellow flowered plants, but lacked methyl benzoate, one of the major floral volatiles of the yellow-flowered line. Qualitative scent differences between the two lines were eliminated by applying the complementary scent compounds to filter paper wicks placed within the corollas. Lab-oratory analyses were performed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to verify ap-propriate modification of floral scents by this method. Two randomized arrays of control and scent-augmented flowers were visited by freely-foraging bumblebees in subalpine mead-ows in Colorado. Overall, yellow-flowered plants received more pollinator visits and had more flowers foraged per plant visit than did white-flowered plants. The addition of sweet-smelling methyl benzoate or spicy methyl cinnamate neither stimulated nor deterred bumblebee visits to either flower color.

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  • Eric Odell

  • Robert A Raguso

  • Kristina N Jones

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