New Paper in Acta ZooBot Austria


Pollination biology of two phenological forms of Neotinea ustulata (Orchidaceae) in Austria, with field experiments to clarify the biological significance of the plants’ “burnt tips”.

Paulus HF. 2022.
Acta ZooBot Austria 158: 149–175. Link


The pollination biology of the burnt-tip orchid with its two phenological forms Neotinea ustulata was investigated in different protected areas surrounding of Vienna and in the National Park Hohe Tauern. Main pollinators of the spring form are Tachina fera and T. magnicornis, rare pollinators are some bumblebee, wild bees and Cerambycidae. The main pollinator of the summer form is the tachinid fly Nowickia ferox. Choice experiments with intact versus manipulated Neotinea plants find out that the burnt top of the inflorescence is an important optical and olfactorial signal for the tachinid flies. The two phenological forms fullfill all criteria of biospecies (different morphology, different genetics, different smell, different ecological demands) with the consequence of a complete reproductive isolation. It is justified to give Neotinea aestivalis the species rank instead of the typological systematization as subspecies or just as variety.

Tachina ferox on Neotinea ustulata (Austria)

© Hannes Paulus