SYMBIOSIS

THE YUCCA MOTH & ADAM'S NEEDLE


Mutualism Yucca Moth
Mutualism is one symbiotic relationship in which two organisms coexist, and often co-evolve, to the benefit of each organism. They may depend on each other to provide necessities for survival that the organism cannot obtain in any other fashion such as food, transportation, habitat or pollination. Yucca filamentosa, also known as Adamís Needle, depends on the Yucca Moth for successful pollination, and these moths depend on yuccas for food. At flowering time the female moth gathers a mass of pollen from the anthers of the yucca and then flies to another yucca flower, where she deposits a number of eggs into the ovary among the ovules. As she deposits her eggs, she places the pollen mass on the stigma of the flower, thus ensuring pollination and the likely event that the ovules will develop into seeds. As the seeds develop, they become the food source for the moth larvae. Many of the seeds remain viable and are eventually dispersed, potentially producing new plants. At maturity, the larvae leave the seed capsule, drop to the ground, and pupate. The adult moth emerges next season as the yuccas begin to flower.

Yucca filamentosa or Adam's Needle

Yucca moth