Saturday, September 8, 2007

orchid uses colour and sexual seduction to trick wasp to pollinate it

Orchid is the only plant whose flowers trick insect to pollinate them by using sexual deception.

Anne Gaskett of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, discovered that one species of orchids use colour to trick a male fly into thinking it had found a mate:

Taking into account factors including the background colour, ambient light and colour range of the male wasp’s receptors, she found the orchid replicates almost exactly the colours of the female orchid dupe wasp.

Colour is not the only thing that the orchid got going on:

And she says as far as the male is concerned, tongue orchids have "curves in all the right places".

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