The following spring, adult moths emerge from the cocoons, although some pupae may remain dormant for up to two years. Yucca plants thrive in very inhospitable terrain and poor soils. Once she has a ball of pollen that is the right size, she flies to another blossom. Some have dark markings and hair-like fringes on their wings. The moth isn’t large or colorful and it adapted while the yucca did as well, leading to the unusual relationship. However, the desert isn’t a great place for most pollinators, like bees. The moths are only active when the yuccas are in bloom. Take, for instance, the yucca moth and the yucca plant created by Yahweh (the Hebrew word for Jehovah). She seems to know that the flower she flies to must be on a totally different yucca plant. Description Habitat Trunkless shrubs with rosettes of stiff. It. Yuccas are characterized by their tough, sword-like leaves and large clusters of fragrant, white flowers. Good Old Fashioned Hand Written Code by Eric J. Schwarz. The yucca plant also provides a very interesting example of a symbiotic relationship. After mating, the female begins going from yucca flower to yucca flower, scraping off pollen from the anthers, shaping them into a ball. Members of the Asparagaceae family, the yucca genus contains at least 30 species of trees and shrubs. b. Yucca plants have a symbiotic relationship with the yucca moth. In fact, the yucca and yucca moth share a symbiotic relationship that is so specialized, each yucca species is pollinated by only one type of yucca moth. Each yucca moth species is highly specialized to pollinate a particular type of yucca. Special Relationship Between Yucca Plant and Yucca Moth. The Yucca moth pollinates the yucca plant, and in turn the plant gives the moth a place to live. They are so interdependent that one cannot live without the other. Typically, the caterpillars consume only a small portion of the hundreds of seeds produced. As caterpillars, the yucca moth must feed on the Yucca plant. By comparison, the relationship between the Mexican jumping bean (Sebastiana pavoniana) and its symbiotic moth (Laspeyresia saltitans) is clearly one-sided. share a mutually beneficial relationship, each dependent on the other for survival. Yucca Plant And Yucca Moth Yucca Plant Yucca Moth Habitat Description Mostly South Western Region Wherever the Yucca Plant is, can not live with the Yucca Plant. The female yucca moth is the sole pollinator of the yucca, and the yucca is the only caterpillar host plant of the yucca moth. The places where they live could become too hot and dry for them or the species that they depend on to survive. These plants generally grow in U. S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10, although hardiness varies by species. In the natural world this is called symbiosis or mutualism. Often noted when talking about this plant is the symbiotic relationship it has with the Yucca moth, it's only pollinator. Because the adult stage is very brief, yucca moths do not need to eat; therefore, unlike other moths, they do not have long tongues for sipping nectar. F--Mutualism . Sword-shaped leaves arising at ground level. If the moth died out, so would the yucca. In this symbiotic relationship, the yucca gets pollinated and the yucca moth caterpillars use the yucca flowers as a host plant. A key is that there are more seeds than one or two caterpillars can eat, ensuring that the yucca can reproduce, and the moth only lays one or two eggs so too many caterpillars won’t be produced per seed pod. The mouth of the female moth is equipped with special tentacle-like organs, designed for gathering and carrying pollen. However, one of the most wonderful symbiotic relationships is between the Yucca tree and the Yucca moth. For example, Tegeticula synthetica is the sole pollinator of the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), which grows in USDA zones 8 through 10. She lays her eggs in the flower’s ovary and deposits the pollen onto the stigma, thus fertilizing the flower and ensuring the production of seeds to feed the caterpillars when they hatch. Yucca moths are typically silvery-white and small — usually less than an inch long. The two organisms cannot complete their life cycles without each … Yucca plants are members of the lily family. The larvae will feed on the seeds. U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service: Celebrating Wildflowers – Yucca Moths, National Wildlife Federation: Yucca Moths, North Dakota State University: Family Prodoxidae - Yucca Moths, Arizona State University: Yucca Brevifolia, Tree of Life Web Project: Tegeticula Synthetica, The Prairie Ecologist: The Yucca and Its Moth. Yucca moths and yucca plants have evolved into a mutualistic relationship. The yucca moth pollinates the yucca plant by carrying its pollen from plant to plant; in return, the yucca moth lays eggs and lives in the yucca plant.Commensalism describes a symbiotic interaction in which one party benefits and the other is unaffected. There are many plants that have a special relationship with specific insects or plants, in a way that is mutually beneficial. The female moth does fertilize the flowers but lays her eggs in the ovary. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Does an Adams Crabapple Tree Need Cross Pollinator? Holding the clump of pollen in her tentacles, she flies to another flower, usually on a different plant. The two species (yucca and moth) have developed this special relationship over time. The yucca (Yucca spp.) These plants are pollinated exclusively by the yucca moth, a moth which has evolved to use yucca plants to raise its young. This sort of relationship is called symbiosis. The only drawback from the arrangement is that the two are totally reliant upon one another. Joshua trees have an intricate symbiotic relationship with a tiny moth pollinator who lays her eggs in the trees’ flowers and then pollinates them so her young can eat the resulting seeds. In fact the yucca moth usually pollinates the plant by chewing into the flower and laying its eggs. Symbiotic Relationships  Mutualism is clearly shown in the relationship between the Yucca and the Yucca moth. In the desert, the yucca moth and yucca plant are mutually symbiotic. Do All Flowers Have a Pistil and a Stamen? Mountain Man’s Affiliate store for great gifts and more, Your email address will not be published. When disturbed, the pupa wriggles causing the seed to move about. and the yucca moth (Tegeticula spp.) By mating and laying her eggs exclusively on this plant, the moth and emerging caterpillars pollinate the flowers. 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