106.5 Saturday, Jan. 7 Nectar drinking KIM, Wonjung; GILET, Tristan*; BUSH, John W.M.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; University of Liege, Belgium; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Tristan.Gilet@ulg.ac.be
Nectar drinkers must feed efficiently due to the threat of predation. The sweetest nectar offers the greatest energetic rewards, but the sharp increase of viscosity with sugar concentration makes it the most difficult to transport. We show that the energy transport is optimized for a sugar concentration that depends exclusively on the drinking technique employed. We classify these techniques into three types: active suction, capillary suction, and viscous dipping. For each of them, we deduce the dependence of the volume intake rate on the nectar viscosity. Our results explain why suction feeders typically pollinate flowers with lower sugar concentration nectar than their counterparts that use viscous dipping.