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Insect Interactions of Spiranthes magnicamporum (Orchidacea) in the Black Belt Prairie of Mississippi

Phillip A. Barlow1, Brady S. Dunaway1, and JoVonn G. Hill1,*

1Mississippi Entomological Museum, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS 39762. *Corresponding author.

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 22, Issue 1 (2023): 28–35

Understanding interactions between insects and the flora of the Black Belt Prairie is imperative to the conservation of this waning ecosystem. Spiranthes magnicamporum (Great Plains Lady’s Tresses) is an imperiled orchid found in the prairies of Mississippi. In the fall of 2020, we examined several clusters of S. magnicamporum at a remnant prairie in Osborn, MS. Over a period of 3 weeks, we observed each cluster for 30 minutes, both during the day and at night, and collected any insects interacting with S. magnicamporum. We found possible evidence of Bombus fraternus (Southern Plains Bumble Bee) pollination and recorded floral visitation by other insects. This information can help land management professionals better understand how to promote healthy populations of S. magnicamporum.

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