Catalina Gutiérrez-Chacón, Johanna Pantoja-Santacruz, Alexandra-Maria Klein
|Trigona amalthea pierce holes in granadilla buds to primarily extract pollen, destroying styles, anthers and stigmas in the process. Photograph by C. Gutiérrez-Chacón.|
Flower visitors are considered pollinators when they successfully transfer pollen from anthers to the stigmas. Animals, particularly bees, are the main pollinators of wild and cultivated plants. However, animals may not contribute to the pollination of plants when they act as robbers and thieves while obtaining floral rewards (e.g., pollen and nectar). Robbers extract rewards by making holes in buds, mature flowers or anthers without entering the flower. Thieves, in contrast, collect rewards through the flower opening but transfer little or no pollen, given a mismatch between the morphology or size of the flower and that of the flower visitor. Robbery and thievery of nectar and pollen are collectively referred as floral larceny.