efloraofindia:”For Id 29052012MR2’’ 4 pollinators foraging Ocimum tenuiflorum at Pune:

Studies on pollinators are really interesting topic which Indians have been avoiding. There are so many endemic plants in India. Point is why they are endemic??? One of the reasons may be the limitation of pollinators. We should encourage people to work on this aspect of botany. Its very interesting and we can get lot of good information out of it. The best thing is, its a multidisciplinary subject: botany, entomology, ecology, chemistry, behaviorial ecology….
Some on take up this task please.
In HK I am studying an Orchid called Bulbophyllum bicolor. It is supposed to be endemic to HK. But till now I have seen around 4 insects visiting, but they were never able to pollinate. The plant doesnt set fruit in wild but they occur in wild at many localities. I am coming up with some very interesting findings. While studying it, I found some secretions on the flower surface. Just while I was studying this species, I spent some time on another Bulbophyllum laxiflorum. Insects were coming and spending lot of time outside flower as if they were collecting something from the surface of petals and sepals which till now has not been reported from this genus.
Then I came across interesting works done on another orchid called Gongora. In this, the bees collect FRAGRANCE from the floral parts to attract females. They collect and apply the fragrance over their body and while doing so, they pollinate the flowers. Isnt that interesting….. :))
Watch the video.

Many Thanks … for this very interesting information. Very kind of you to provide the link to the video. The computer animated clip was really amazing. As you rightly said none of these look to be pollinators. I should rather call them visitors. Infact few days back I have noticed 3 different bees (I do not know their names) visiting Acalypha wilkesiana forma circinata leaves and not the flowers at all. I have been wondering about the purpose of these visitors as they were very quietly sitting on the leaves for long hours without moving or flying as if glued to the leaves. Now I know they are obviously looking for something else other than the nectar But what?. I will be posting this separately.
Because you provided the link to the video I could see many other wonderful videos esp the Orchids. You are very fortunate to be working with the “Queen of flowers” (I learned this from the videos I did not know it earlier). And yes I am fortunate too because I am part of a group which has eminent experts like you.

…i agree with all above
loved the video..
question … how does one prove the hypothesis about scent being the target for the bees, and not the oil per se for some sort of protection against the sun/uv or predator…
are these questions exclude able? or
excluded by others before you?

I couldnt find any article which proves about Gongora but there is another article about pollination by cricket which I am attaching.
There is second article on Epipactis veratrifolia also which I am attaching. This finding was published when I was writing my article and yes I have less facilities and money to work with but what I added was a new means of pollination by larvae. I coined this term Vermiculiphily.
There are ways to do chemical analysis of pheromones and other volatiles but in case of Gongora, the scent is not used as pheromone but perfume, so I imagine how it can be proved!! May be people with more resources would be able to do it somewhere some day. Please check the process in Pollination by hoverflies article.

I knew it! you are not only a nice kid (sometimes high pitta) you are also a creative kid… love it… good for you…
Vermiculiphily.: though strictly scientific is also playful and sounds like supercalifragilisticexpialidosious… something mary poppins would rattle off or Sukumar Ray;’s AAbol taabol nonsense rhymes may sound off…
I’ll download the pdf s and read ’em in am…
will write to you then

Question of pheromone may be easy now in this decade to set up hypothesis and test it… but question of just scent/perfume for perfumes’ sake .. as in just simply liking it versus for reproductive imperative.. is difficult to set up in Humans … so I wonder how could it be tested in insects… one needs to deeply ponder … esp during the alpha states of the mind/ brian activity and come up with creative protocols and set ups… one would need a suitable insect to study… etc etc..

In the mean time I’ll to share with you and all members of Eflora a utube video..short really put up by the TED director himself …
about how flowers and insects may have co-evolved etc… a beautifully done short video well presented too…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmVZ8zXJO48

Jonathan Drori: The beautiful tricks of flowers



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