Flowers are usually associated with butterflies, but not the Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia grandiflora). This deciduous vine, native to Brazil, has large flowers that emit an odor of decaying flesh, which attracts flies and beetles. The insects then have to navigate the twists and turns of the flowers throat, which is covered with hairs that trap the insects inside. It is only when an insect removes the pollen sack that the hairs collapse, releasing the insect which will likely be fooled by another pelican flower into pollinating it.
You might also like:
- Prehistoric pollination: Sawfly mouthparts fit tubular channels of gymnosperm cones
- Video: Common birds in Washington, D.C. are helping Smithsonian scientists track intensity of the West Nile Virus
- Native bees prove resilient in competition with invasive African honey bees
- NEW ACQUISITION:
Research collection of pollen grains given to Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
- Artist John Gurche discusses sculptures he created for the Smithsonian’s new David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins