Imitation of other plants
males born in spring several weeks before females, and their first flights are attracted by the fragrance of flowers Ophrys , similar to pheromones secreted by females. Also, the lip has shape, color and texture similar to females. The process is designated as pseudocopulation because male wasps attempt to mate with the flower, and in doing so, contact the anther, transferring the pollinia from one flower to another in successive attempts.
Pseudocopulation pollination was first described in 1916 and 1917 by A. Pouyanne and H. Correvon when they studied the interrelationships between the orchid Ophrys speculum and the wasp escólida Campsoscolia ciliata in Algeria . 34 35 The publication of these French biologists went unnoticed until Robert Godfrey confirmed their observations in 1925, leading to an increased interest in the subject . The work of 1925 was followed by a large number of publications of the Australian biologist Edith Coleman about the pollination of the orchid genus Cryptostylis by male wasps icneumonoidea Lissopimpla excelsa .
Several genera of terrestrial orchids are reproduced by this mechanism. The genera best known and best documented are in addition to those already The vast majority of terrestrial orchid pseudocopulation are used in Australia and the largest genus of orchids with pseudocopuladas species is Ophrys in Europe. The mechanism is not at all circumscribed to a particular continent, as has also been reported for a South American species ( Geoblasta penicillata ) and two South African orchid genus Disa .
The same mechanism used Tolumnia henekeni , whose flower resembles the female of a species of bee, Centris insularis , and does so well that the male of this species is deceived and is the imitation of female mate offered the flower. By doing so pollinate the flower.
In Caleana , known in English speaking countries "duck orchid" ("duck orchid") by the likeness of his lip with the head of a duck and the rest of the flower with the body of a duck in flight, has pseudocopulation described a somewhat different mechanism. This species uses a spring mechanism to trap insects in a bag, their only chance to escape through the polinio and stigma. The males of pollinating insects land on the lip, which triggers a mechanism of relaxation of two hinges (one is the lip-plate and the other is the blade-perianth) which turns the insect with the back of your chest in the bag containing the stigma and the polynya.
Pseudocopulation is not only restricted to pollinators belonging to the order of Hymenoptera (bees and wasps). Indeed, it has also been described for flies (a mosquito of the genus Bradysia ) that species pseudocopulan Lepanthes , one of the larger genera of angiosperms that inhabit neotropical forests.
The flowers of the orchid genus Ophrys imitate not only the shape, size and color of the females of their pollinators, but also emit a fragrance that includes several compounds found in the pheromone of the female sex, which fail to enhance male sexual behavior. We compared the volatile compounds emitted by Ophrys iricolor female pheromones and its pollinator species, Andrena morio , from the standpoint of chemical and electrophysiological. Have been discovered over 40 compounds, including alkanes and alkenes of from 20 to 29 carbon atoms, aldehydes with 9 to 24 carbons and twoesters . Almost all of these compounds were found in similar proportions in both floral extracts of O. iricolor as in the cuticular surface extracts of female A. morio , as shown in the table above. 32biologically active volatile compounds of this pattern are very similar to those used by other species of Ophrys are pseudocopuladas by males of the genus Andrena and Colletes .
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