The image above is of Exoneura bicolor on a flower of Leptospermum novae-angliae, the New England Tea-tree. This tea tree (a shrub) is a ‘co-factor’ in the pollination ecology of a threatened species on native mint, Prostanthera staurophylla – known as a co-factor because it provides nectar to pollinators on which P. staurophylla depends and is therefore an important component of P. staurophylla‘s plant-pollinator network. There are only about 100 plants of P. staurophylla left in the wild. We are currently working out the species’ pollination needs and also working closely with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment on a translocation experiment to establish some back-up populations of this endangered plant.

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