Posts Tagged ‘wasps’

plant talk

February 19, 2013

magical SMplants have brians!

I have monarchs hatching in my bedroom.2 girls and a boy… also a
couple of parasitoid wasps…sometimes if a plant is being heavily
chomped, part of the plant’s sap mix with the saliva of the
This sends out a fragrance that certain parasitoid wasps are very
attracted to. The parasitoid wasps fly to the rescue of the plant like
some John Wayne bomber squad…. kill the caterpillars and lay eggs
inside the carcasses wow… if it is intelligent design that’s one
scary mind!

Orchids and SEX

October 20, 2012

Every species of orchid has a specific pollinator. The flower lures its host to gather pollen by cunning and subterfuge.

Fly orchids mimic the sight and scent of the genitals of female flies — but not exactly. The orchid’s fragrance is slightly different, richer, and more glamorous; familiar yet exotic. Males prefer mysterious sirens, a redhead in a roomful of brunettes.  

Hammer orchids are pollinated by male Thynnids wasps. Female Thynnids are flightless. They wait at the top of a stem for some male Lochinvar Thynnids to swoop in and fly away with them, making love in midair. Hammer orchids perch on stem’s tip looking like demure females. Thus, Thynnids males spend their love on eggless petals. Female Thynnids can reproduce asexually. When they do, they produce males. Males who will pollinate more Hammer Orchids.

The Bucket Orchid secretes fragrant oil onto its pouting, bucket shaped lip. Male orchid bees use this perfume as a calling card, an invitation to females to join them in a courtship dance. The oil is more potent than oysters, rarer than Channel No. 5, sweeter than dark chocolate…at least to the bees. In their eagerness to collect the scent, males topple into the fluid-filled bucket. As the bee tries to escape, he discovers the lip is lined with smooth, downward-pointing hairs, impossible to climb. But, before hope is lost, he finds small, hairless knobs. The orchid has thoughtfully provided a ladder up to freedom. The knobs lead to a spout, As the bee is tries to squeeze through to freedom, the spout tightens. A packet of pollen is glued against the bee’s thorax. When the glue has set (which can take up to forty-five minutes) the orchid releases the bee. As the bee continues his search for a mate, another orchid lures him with the scent of passion. The bee once again falls into a bucket. But, instead of attaching pollen, this time the bee’s pollen gets stuck to the stigma, the female organ of the orchid.

The Dendrobium Sinense emits the scent of a honey bee in trouble. Hungry hornets, whose prey is honeybees, pounce on the Dendrobium hoping for a feast. Instead the orchid sticks its pollen to the wasp. The wasp remains unfed.