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Serapias bergonii

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 10 May 2010 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Series: European Terrestial Orchids

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

Canon EOS 400D 1/200 second F/14.0 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.

All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)

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k@ from Paris, France

How sharp & shiny ! Magic colors

10 May 2010 8:41am

@k@: Thank you very much for your visit and comment, k@.

daniela scharnowski from Berlin, Germany

this is the cutest bed I´ve ever seen! nature is so tricky, right?! excellent documentation and a unique photo.

10 May 2010 8:48am

@daniela scharnowski: You name it "tricky", I would call it "genious" !

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

I love this Johan! The way that the hairs of the flower kind of encapsulates the bee is pretty cool.

10 May 2010 10:14am

@Julie Brown: The hairs are part of the internal temperature-regulation of the flower and to give the insects a kind of tactile recognition. Nature is wonderfull.

Patricia (✿◠‿◠)❤ from Brecht, Belgium

Wow amazing

10 May 2010 10:30am

@Patricia (✿◠‿◠)❤: alweer :-) Dank je nogmaals en een prettige avond nog.

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

Stunning colors:)

10 May 2010 12:07pm

@MARIANA: Thanks a lot for your visit and comment, mariana. Glad you like it.

Joke from Leuven, Belgium

Ik begin te geloven dat jij een orchidee kenner bent. Prachtig van kleur. Ik val op rood dus...

10 May 2010 3:54pm

@Joke: Van dit soort commentaar begin ik zowaar bijna te blozen .... Oeps dan heb ik rode kaken ... ;-)
Ik ben inderdaad al enkele jaren bezig met de studie (en fotografie) van deze bijzondere plantengroep, voornamelijk in België en nu voor het eerst rond de Middellandse zee. Zo stilaan mag ik me wel een "orchidofiel" beginnen noemen :-) Voor de duidelijkheid - ik hou me niet bezig met tropische soorten, en zeker niet met kweken van die planten - alles gewoon in de pure natuur hier. Ik blijf versteld staan welke rijkdom we ook hier nog hebben !

Photome from Uden, Netherlands

Prachtige kleuren en prachtige details! Je bent toch een echte macrospecialist!

10 May 2010 5:02pm

@Photome: Na enkele jaartjes macro-oefenwerk begin ik het zo ongeveer onder de knie te krijgen. Elke vorm van fotografie vergt een zekere mate van oefening he... ik kan dan weer niet tippen aan portretfoto's zoals jij die kan maken. "Een fluitist kan wel eens trommelen, maar een slagwerksolo zoals de slagwerker dat doet is toch wat hoog gegrepen (en omgekeerd!)... - toch zijn het beide muzikanten ..." Zolang het me blijft boeien geef ik niet op en laat ik me inspireren door mooi "ander" werk van "anderen"...

ℳarleen from Doesburg, Netherlands

Waaaahaha- ik dacht eerst nog wel: dat hartje lijkt op een insect (of Batman;-))))....lees ik dat er echt een bijtje in verstopt zit!! Wat een mooie bonus bij deze bijzondere macro:-)

10 May 2010 7:11pm

@ℳarleen: Een voor deze soort levensnoodzakelijke bonus... zonder bijtje geen nieuwe bloempjes volgend jaar... Dit is nu eens echt een prent over 'bloemetjes en bijtjes' :-)))

Lalena from Barcelona, Spain

Excellent serie of flowers!!! Just Superb*******

10 May 2010 7:29pm

@Lalena: Thank you very much for your lovely comment. I'm realy glad you like the series. There are still more orchids to come, so be welcome the next days.

Antoine from France

Superb shot.

10 May 2010 7:45pm

@Antoine: Thank you very much, Antoine.

BoB from Italy

fantastic and very detailed macro

10 May 2010 8:33pm

@BoB: Thank you, Bob, for your visit and comment.

Self-Indulgence from Chicagoland, United States

The temperature factor behind why the bugs seek haven here and why they are slow to leave is fascinating. I guess if I was a bee I would want a bed like this as well. Is it fragrant?

11 May 2010 10:57pm

@Self-Indulgence: Serapias are no particular fragrant. Orchid polination is for me one of the most fascinating things in nature. Thats one of the reasons why I study them ...

Frederike from Rostock, Germany

this is wonderfull! like an eye with beautiful colors in a velvet cape...

13 May 2010 10:50am

@Frederike: Thx, Frederike. I was very lucky to spot this little bee in the flower.

RomanRandom from Yamaguchi, Slovakia

It looks like meat and a tongue. Cool photo!

14 May 2010 12:46am

@RomanRandom: Thx again, Roman.

dang from Atlanta, United States

Thought my eye were deceiving me until I read your description, but not too surprised. I've often found bees resting in flower buds, but you describe it extremely well. Excellent shot, as usual.

18 May 2010 8:32pm

@dang: I know many bees do rest in flowers. It is special thow that this species counts on that for being pollinated ... It is one of those famous orchid co-evolutions ... Wonderfull nature !
Thanks for your extensive comments again !

GIPSY ELENA from Basauri, Spain

..your portfolio is like a fairytale to me.. A wonderful discovery and a pleasure I have had before heading to bed tonight..

25 Dec 2010 11:00pm

Canon EOS 400D
1/200 second
ISO 200
150 mm