In a flirting mood: what orchids do to get pollinated

In a flirting mood: what orchids do to get pollinated

We draw attention to ourselves through figure, hairstyle and clothes. Orchids have completely different possibilities and are very inventive.
From the sexual pheromone to the prey animal
Just like humans, orchids have tricks to attract attention.

Some entice male wild bees with a mix of scents mimicking that of the sexual pheromone of female bees who are willing to mate. The wild bees therefore try to mate with the orchid, pollinating it in the process.

Other orchids dupe wasps into believing they contain a prey. Pollination occurs when the wasps knock their head against what they think is the prey.
Reward through scent
Not all orchids resort to these tricks. Some prefer to reward their pollinators with flower scents. These scents attract a species of bee known as the orchid bee. Surprisingly, only the male bees collect the orchid fragrances. Male orchid bees specifically target certain species of orchids, transferring their pollen packets as they do so.

The interesting aspect is that the enticing scent is both an attraction and a reward – the hind legs on male orchid bees are shaped for collecting these volatile compounds and the males use the scents to attract females later.

Want to know more about orchids?