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In botanical terms, monandrous simply means to have a single stamen.

In orchids[edit]

A distinction between monandrous and other flowers is particularly relevant in the classification of orchids. The monandrous orchids form a clade[1] consisting of the subfamilies Orchidoideae, Vanilloideae, and Epidendroideae.[2] The other subfamilies, Apostasioideae and Cypripedioideae, have at least two stamens.

In animals[edit]

In animals, a monandrous system occurs when females have one mate at a time. For example, a female speckled wood butterfly will typically only mate once within her short lifetime.[3] This is also common in certain bee species, like Bombus terrestris and Bombus pratorum, where a female will only mate with one male during her nuptial flight and use the sperm reserves for the rest of her life.[4] This is also seen in a few species of stingless bees, like Plebeia remota, where the males will attempt to mate with the queen as she tries to leave the nest, but only one male will be successful in mating.[5] In Drosophila subobscura, monandry is practiced. This is a mating behavior that is not normally observed among the Drosophila genus.[6]


  1. ^ John V. Freudenstein and Finn N. Rasmussen (1999). "What does morphology tell us about orchid relationships?—a cladistic analysis". American Journal of Botany. Botanical Society of America. 86 (2): 225–248. doi:10.2307/2656939. JSTOR 2656939. PMID 21680361.
  2. ^ Kenneth M. Cameron; et al. (1999). "A phylogenetic analysis of the Orchidaceae: evidence from rbcL nucleotide sequences". American Journal of Botany. Botanical Society of America. 86 (2): 208–224. doi:10.2307/2656938. JSTOR 2656938. PMID 21680360.
  3. ^ Lauwers, K.; Van Dyck, H. (2006). "The Cost of Mating with a Non-Virgin Male in a Monandrous Butterfly: Experimental Evidence from the Speckled Wood, Pararge aegeria". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 60 (1): 69–76. doi:10.1007/s00265-005-0142-4.
  4. ^ Baer, B. and P. Schmid-Hempel (2001). "Unexpected consequences of polyandry for parasitism and fitness in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris". Evolution. 55 (8): 1639–1643. doi:10.1554/0014-3820(2001)055[1639:ucopfp];2. PMID 11580023.
  5. ^ Alves, D.A.; Imperatriz-Fonseca, V.L.; Santos-Filho, P.S. (2009). "Production of workers, queens and males in Plebeia remota colonies (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini), a stingless bee with reproductive diapause" (PDF). Genetics and Molecular Research. 8 (2): 672–683. doi:10.4238/vol8-2kerr030. PMID 19554766.
  6. ^ Holman, L.; Freckleton, R. P.; Snook, R. R. (2008). "What use is an infertile sperm? A comparative study of sperm-heteromorphic Drosophila". Evolution. 62 (2): 374–85. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2007.00280.x. PMID 18053077.