A few days ago, I promissed a picture of a bee spending the night in a Serapias. So here it is. In this Serapias bergonii, a little solitary bee (species unknown) has spend the night...
But what is really going on here ...? Some explanation:
Serapias lack nectar, so they have an other mechanism to attract a pollinator. In the narrow tube formed by the hypochile concave and the hood of the flower, the temperature is 1-3 °C higher than outside. A large number of hymenopterans (solitary bees and wasps) have been observed, sluggish, in the flowers, where they remain for a while during rain, on cold days or overnight. When the outside temperature risis sufficiently, they leave the shelter of the flower, carrying of the pollinia whenever the size of their head allows them to insert it between the basal lamella and the column and touch the retinacle. After taking this picture, I waited for a while, hoping for this little guest to come out, but it didn't and I had to move on... Next time more luck...
Lagoli (Crete - Greece) - 10/04/2010
© Johan Dierckx
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