Deceptive Orchids

Australian Geographic exposes Deceptive Orchids: Luring Wasps for Pollination. The diverse orchid family employs a wide range of pollination strategies, including trickery. Using special perfumes and flower shapes, some orchids fool male wasps into thinking they’ve found a female. While visiting the flowers, the wasps transfer pollen, and fertilize the orchids. Several groups of orchids around the globe use this ruse, but Australia is home to the most of these tricksters, with over 250 native species adopting the strategy. Their nicknames, like Hammer Orchid, Flying Duck Orchid, Purple Enamel Orchid, and Elbow Orchid, describe how they appear to human eyes. Male wasps, however, see seductive lures. Be sure to check out the great deceptive orchids photo gallery. Do these flowers fool you?

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