We studied the pollination biology of three nocturnal moth species collected at the Biopond at Kent State Stark. The purpose of this research was to quantify the pollen load on the mouthparts (proboscis and labial palpi) of moth species. We hypothesized that moth species would differ in their pollen load; therefore, moth species differ in their role as pollinators. Moths were collected at the Stark Campus Biopond at night using a white sheet and a 250W mercury vapor light and stored in a -80 degree C freezer. Moth mouthparts were studied with a stereoscope and confocal microscopy to assess pollen load. Our results indicate significant differences in pollen load among species and that pollination patterns might not be based on family-level phylogenetic relationships, but represent species-level, moth-flower interactions. We suggest that additional studies are needed regarding this important insect-plant interaction.
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