Floral visitors of the homoploid hybrid species, Iris nelsonii (Abbeville Red Iris), were observed and identified in order to determine whether Abbeville Red Iris flowers are visited by similar floral visitors as its progenitor Iris species. The most common floral visitors to Abbeville Red Iris flowers were Archilochus colubris (Ruby-throated Hummingbird), which were also largely successful in transferring a pollen dye-analogue between Abbeville Red Iris flowers. Other floral visitors included butterflies, wasps, and bee species. The pollinators of the Abbeville Red Iris have not been previously documented. These results suggest that pollinator isolation may be important in preventing hybridization between the Abbeville Red Iris and its geographically closest progenitor species, I. hexagona (Dixie Iris).
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Vol. 11 • No. 1