1932

Abstract

Yucca moths ( and ) are specialized pollinators of yucca plants, possessing unique, tentacle-like mouthparts used to actively collect pollen and deposit it onto the flowers of their hosts. The moths' larvae feed on the developing seeds and fruit tissue. First described in 1873, the yucca–yucca moth pollination system is now considered the archetypical example of a coevolved intimate mutualism. Research conducted over the past three decades has transformed our understanding of yucca moth diversity and host plant interactions. We summarize the current understanding of the diversity, ecology, and evolution of this group, review evidence for coevolution of the insects and their hosts, and describe how the nature of the interaction varies across evolutionary time and ecological contexts. Finally, we identify unresolved questions and areas for future research.

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2024-01-29
2024-04-21
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