Wednesday, June 18, 2014

flowers imitating insects

Flowers have evolved many features to lure insects which promote pollination. There are nectars that provide food for bees, colors that are attractive (and sometimes have bold patterns that only stand out for creatures with vision that extends into the ultraviolet range), and perhaps most transparent to a human observer, flower parts that mimic the appearance of live insects.

In some cases, insects are repeatedly observed to attempt to mate with a flower. The masquerading features are strategically located near the flower's actual sexual organs, so the innocent insect almost inevitably picks up pollen, or deposits it where it needs to be for the plant's reproduction.

The flowers that I spotted in the heat this afternoon probably don't quite fit that last scenario, but reminded me of these strategies because to my own eyes there was a very nice simulation of an odd five legged beast just sitting patiently in the center of the petals...



  1. Not only to I get amazing images to look at, but I learn something from your commentary, as well. Can't ask for more than that, Jess -- thanks! :-)

    1. You're welcome. I'm pleased to think my patter is sometimes more than filler. :<)


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