Entomophily

Entomophily

[en-tuh-mof-uh-luhs]

Entomophily is a form of pollination whereby pollen is distributed by insects, particularly bees, Lepidoptera (e.g. butterflies and moths), flies and beetles. Entomophilous species frequently evolve mechanisms to make themselves more appealing to insects, e.g. brightly colored or scented flowers, nectar, or appealing shapes and patterns. Pollen grains of entomophilous plants are generally larger than the fine pollens of anemophilous (wind pollinated) plants. They usually are of more nutritional value to insects, who may use them for food and inadvertently spread them to other flowers.

The word is artificially derived from the Greek: entomo-/εντομο- "that which is cut in pieces or engraved/segmented", hence "insect"; and phily from φίλη, "that which is loved".

Entomophilous species include the sunflower, orchid, and cycad.

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