viernes, 27 de enero de 2012

El Mundo de las Orquídeas Silvestres - The World of Wild Orchids

Portrait of Encyclia bractescens © Christian Ziegler
A lowland orchid from Panama

Ophrys speculum © Christian Ziegler
Each orchid species in the Ophrys genus attracts a different bee species as its pollinator. They do this by producing perfect imitations of the pheromones of the appropriate female bees. Sexual deception is a technique used by a number of different orchids to attract pollinating insects. Sardinia, Italy

Donkey orchids (Diuris sp.) in Kings Park in Perth © Christian Ziegler
Donkey orchids are food deceptive: they lure in bees and other nectar feeding insects by looking like nectar rich legumes that live in the same habitat

Bird orchid (Pterostylis sp.) © Christian Ziegler
Bird orchid (Pterostylis sp.) in its habitat, an old groth Shea Oak forest.

Caladenia discoidea © Christian Ziegler
Studio portrait of Caladenia discoidea, one of the bee orchid species. Western Australia

The Bucket Orchid © Christian Ziegler
The intricately designed flower of this variety effectively functions as a bee trap: As a male bee tries to collect the flowers scent, it slips down the inner walls of the blossom, eventually ending up in the sticky liquid at the bottom of the bucket. Unable to fly with wet wings, the bee tries to crawl up the inner wall. The only area with traction leads right to the entrance of a narrow tunnel. As the bee squeezes through the far end, pollinium are attached to its back, which, when inadvertently delivered by the bee to another bucket orchid, will complete the process of pollination.

Masdevallia reginas© Christian Ziegler
Masdevallia reginas rotting aroma is perfume to its pollinator, a tiny carrion fly. Cerro Punta, Panama.

Catasetum viridiflavum© Christian Ziegler
A male orchid bee approaches a sweet-scented Catasetum viridiflavum. Barro Colorado Island, Panama

Epidendrum radicans © Christian Ziegler
Epidendrum radicans being pollinateed by a Heliconius butterfly. Panama.

King spider orchid (Caladenia pectinata)© Christian Ziegler
King spider orchid (Caladenia pectinata) being visited by its pollinator, a male parasitic wasp which is attracted to the flower by a faux female wasp pheromone.

Eleanthus sp.© Christian Ziegler
Eleanthus sp.being pollinated by a male magnificent hummingbird. The orchidâ's violet-colored pollen package can be seen at the tip of the hummingbirds beak. Most bird-pollinated orchids haveevolved dark pollinia because the usual yellow ones would be easily seen and probably groomed off by the birds. Finca Dracula, Panama

Coelogyne sp. Poring Hot springs © Christian Ziegler
Sabah, Borneo

Fuente: National Geographic
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