Pollination Ecology of Citrullus Lanatus at Yatta, Kenya
Njoroge, G. N.
Newton, L. E.
Ngumi, V. W.
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Pollination ecology was investigated in Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai, which is a species vulnerable to pollinator loss. It was found that this species depends heavily on the honeybee, Apis mellifera L., as the main pollinator. Other pollen vectors identified include Xylocopa bees, halictid bees, Hypotrigona bees, flies and beetles. Phenologically, the plant was found to promote male fitness by producing numerous male flowers, which serve as pollinator attracting structures. Blooming sequence and A.mellifera visitation rates to these flowers are presented. This will enable farmers and pollination managers to better understand visitation patterns and to safeguard pollinators during pesticide application schedules.