Successful selective seduction! A really informative piece on orchids and key pollinators.
Orchids go to great lengths to attract the insects that are vital to their survival.
Like humans, they put on a pretty dress, slap on some lipstick and perfume, flirt and promise sexual favours and gifts (but do not always deliver). Some even resort to trickery and traps via a sort of passive aggressive courtship that leaves their suitors frustrated but unharmed.
Devious or inspired?
Imagine you are one of the 25,000 or so wild orchid species trying to make sure that pollination takes place while your flowers are in bloom. You need the insect to find and choose you over the multitude of competitors in the area.*
Can we blame them for indulging in a bit of sexual deception and manipulation?
Don’t be fooled by appearances
Some members of the orchid family mimic plants, such as lilies (e.g. Phaius tankarvilleae), that typically trade pollen or nectar but may…
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