Ophrys insectifera

Fly Orchid

Aragon, Spain - May 2016

Fly Orchids, by releasing a fragrance that mimics the sexual pheromones of female digger wasps, attract male wasps to their flowers. When the male digger wasps try to mate with the flower, pollen is transferred to their head and pollination occurs when the wasps visit other Fly Orchids. The success of this pollination-by-mimicry strategy depends on the Fly Orchids being in flower before the female wasps emerge as the authentic wasp pheremones are far more attractive to the male digger wasps than those produced by the Fly Orchid.

Vaud, Switzerland - May 2014