3) The common name of the yucca's winged friend is yucca moth
or pronuba moth.
fruit retention, mutualism; pollen load; pollination; pollinator behavior; progeny performance; seed quality; selective abortion; Tegeticula; yucca; yucca moth
caterpillars are nourished exclusively from the seeds of the Joshua tree and other yuccas; this relationship between moth and yucca is a truly symbiotic one.
Here's the reason: A female yucca moth
goes out at night and visits the flowers of yucca plants only.
The female yucca moth
may lack conscious intention, but she acts for the health of her descendants and the Joshua tree ecosystem, not to obtain nectar for her own short-term economic gain.
Nonetheless, we predict that survival is low in egg and early instars of yucca moths
, and that increased survival could alter the outcome of yucca and yucca moth
The genus Greya (Prodoxidae) is the sister taxon to the yucca moth
clade and includes 15-16 species that have radiated onto plants in the Saxifragaceae and Umbelliferae (Thompson 1987, Davis et al.
Oviposition and pollination behavior of the yucca moth
, Tegiticula maculata (Lepidoptera: Proxididae), and its relation to the reproductive biology of Yucca whipplei (Agavaceae).
The measured costs of being a pollinating yucca moth
do not appear to be very heavy.
On spring nights, Yucca moths
pollinate the trees' flowers, which look like popcorn bouquets.
A better cause might have been the endangered soap-weed: at least it's needed by endangered yucca moths
Female yucca moths
appear to leave a scent mark on flowers they visit, a bit like dogs claiming their fire hydrants.