PDA

View Full Version : Bee with Lizzard Orchid Pollinia


Jim Ford
9th July 2008, 02:34 PM
In common with many orchid species, our native Lizard Orchid employs sophisticated techniques to ensure pollination. In most 'ordinary' flowers the pollen is in the form of loose dust. In the Lizard Orchid (and others) the pollen is in 2 discrete masses called 'pollinia'. The pollinia are attached to short stalks, which are in turn attached to a sticky pad. In the flower, the sticky pad is protected by a thin membrane.

When an investigating insect brushes with its head against the sticky pad, the membrane is broken and the pad is stuck onto the insect's head, the 'glue' hardening within seconds. When the insect exits the flower with the pollinia attached, the angle at which the pollinia are held is such that they are incorrectly aligned for pollination. This is to reduce the chance of self-fertilisation. After a short period, the stalks on the pollinia bend such as to bring the pollina into correct alignment with a receptive stigma.

Enough of that - here's the pic!

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/bee_with_lizard_orchid_pollinia.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/6690)

E3, Zuiko 50mm Macro. Raw file converted to DNG and developed with ACR. Sharpened with Photokit Sharpener and converted to 8 bit jpeg for web.

Jim

art frames
9th July 2008, 03:07 PM
Jim

A very nice capture and explanation of the process. How is your collection of all of the UK orchids going?

I'm just off to La Brenne a huge parc naturel in France mainly for butterflies (large and also alcon blues and large copper) but no doubt will find some orchids and birds too (bee eaters and purple herons). Weather permitting.

Peter

HughofBardfield
9th July 2008, 03:15 PM
Lovely (and fascinating!) shot Jim.

Jim Ford
9th July 2008, 03:56 PM
Jim

A very nice capture and explanation of the process. How is your collection of all of the UK orchids going?

OK, I manage to add a few each year. I'm really not looking forward to looking for the minute Bog Orchid!

Here's a Late Spider Orchid I took the same day as the 'Bee with Pollinia'. I wish I'd paid more attention to getting the sepals in better focus!

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Late_Spider_Orchid.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/6693)


I'm just off to La Brenne a huge parc naturel in France mainly for butterflies (large and also alcon blues and large copper) but no doubt will find some orchids and birds too (bee eaters and purple herons). Weather permitting.


I hope the weather's better for you than it is now in the U.K.!

Jim

Barr1e
9th July 2008, 04:34 PM
Terrific.

Regards. Barr1e

JohnGG
9th July 2008, 10:13 PM
Superb capture and fascinating narrative which just goes to prove that you learn something new every day *yes

Cheers,

JohnGG