DIURIS & MIMICRY

Another form of orchid deception is the mimicking of nearby nectar producing flowers.

Diuris are some of best at doing this.  However, they are very sneaky because the Diuris flower is usually larger, more colourful and conspicuous than the flower they try to emulate.

Their large flowers may look like those of nectar-offering plants that grow nearby but they offer nothing to the unsuspecting insect.  (see photo upper right)

At this point in time, the only observed pollinator of Diuris are small native bees.  Having learned that flowers of a particular shape are worth visiting, the bee is willing to approach other likely food sources.

Many Diuris look very similar to a member of the 'pea' family which happens to flower at similar times.   (see photos below and on next page)

 

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