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Just curious about any coevolution between heliconia and frogs. Hummingbirds are the exclusive pollinator of Heliconias in the American tropics, and heliconias have evolved their flowers and bracts to suit hummingbirds, and to a certain extent the reverse may be true.

Heliconia have either pendant or erect inflorescences, and hummingbirds can reach the flowers of both, so what are the advantages of one or the other? Erect inflorescences provide a perch for hummingbirds, which, although not necessary, allow the hummingbirds to conserve energy. Some of the erect inflorescences have boat-like bracts which hold lots of water - surely at a cost to the plant...

There are many heliconia nectar parasites, and the flower sits in the middle of the water-filled bract, protruding above the water level. The water itself may provide some protection. We know that different dart frog species use the water-filled bracts as tadpole nurseries and i'm wondering if the darts provide added protection against invertebrate parasites in return. Any thoughts?




Steve
 

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A while back this website said that imitators prefer the heliconias as a breeding refuge...depositing tads in the bracts...I asked a little about them, but that went nowhere, so I'm with jbeetle, very interested, but dont have any info to share.
Here is the site:
http://personal.ecu.edu/emt0424/peru04/habitat.html
Black jungle has been selling a smaller species of heliconia...and I've been wanting to try one for my imitators, however they are already breeding, so I don't want to interupt them just yet.
 

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I know that darts often use ginger inflorescences for tad deposition sites. Gingers are closely related to heliconias and have similar water holding bracts. I think there is a picture of a tad in a ginger bract on Justine Yeager’s site. This probably doesn’t help but maybe a search for dart/ginger coevolution would bring up more than dart/heliconia coevolution. In Costa Rica, ginger plants seem to be a common tadpole deposition site for Dendrobates and maybe other frogs.
 
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