February 6th, 2008

Red dress

The Orchid and the Wasp

A large number of plants are polinated by insects and the Chiloglottis trapeziformis is no exception. Most plants manage this by offering something to the insect - nutrient rich pollen or sweet nectar usually. Chiloglottis trapeziformis on the other hand offers what every living thing wants - sex. It imitates the pheremones of a receptive female wasp and when the male wasp attempts to mate with this irrestibily smelling flower the orchid promptly pastes a wad of pollen to it's head and it leaves, unfulfilled. Usually it will be tempted by another decieving orchid and thus, pollen is transferred.



This relationship borders on parisitism. The wasp is duped into transferring pollen from flower to flower, but gets nothing in return.

More here