Numerous insect species feed on the pollen, nectar and other plant exudates that are associated with flowers. As a result of this feeding activity, pollen becomes attached to the insects. Analysis of this pollen can reveal what insects eat, their dispersal patterns in and around cropping systems and their role in pollination. However, finding pollen on and/or in an insect depends on the technique used to recover pollen from the insect. Six different techniques are described in detail that have been used to recover pollen from a variety of insects including pests such as boll weevils, Mexican corn rootworms and corn earworm moths. These techniques can be use to recover pollen from internal insect tissues (gut, alimentary canal, crop, etc.), external tissues (proboscis, legs, eyes, etc.) or both. By using the most appropriate technique, better pollen recovery can be made and thus better data obtained.
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Vol. 36 • No. 1