FERGUSON, CAROL S.*, KATHLEEN DONHAM, AND JENNIFER BROWN. Department of Biology, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR 97520. - Pollination of Clustered lady's slipper orchid, Cypripedium fasciculatum (Orchidaceae).
Cypripedium fasciculatum, the Clustered lady’s slipper orchid is one
of three endemic Cypripedium species in the Western United States
whose pollination mechanisms, until now have been unknown. The
Northwest Forest Plan designated C. fasciculatum a ‘Survey and Manage’
species. Therefore, information on the pollinators of C. fasciculatum
could aid land managers involved in the preservation and/or management
of Cypripedium habitat. This research sought to determine the
pollinator(s) of C. fasciculatum, and to understand the floral
phenology of C. fasciculatum as it relates to pollination. In 1999,
insect activity, floral phenology and pollen removal were monitored
at two southwestern Oregon Cypripedium sites. This study is the first
to document a pollinator of C. fasciculatum and represents the first
record of parasitic diapriid wasps as pollinators. Diapriids
parasitize dipteran hosts including fungus gnats (Sciaridae) which
were the most prevalent insects collected in the study sites. The
relationships between diapriids, their insect host(s) and C.
fasciculatum will be addressed in future research.
Key words: Cypripedium fasciculatum, diapriid wasps, pollination, rare orchid