MICROTIS & POLLINATORS - FACT

Because some orchids rely on such tiny pollinators, they do not burden their little insect with large clumps of pollen but instead let it carry off a mini packet of gametes size appropriate for a small bug.  (see photo lower right)

A prime example of this concept is in the Microtis family.  Besides being self-pollinating, this orchid is also pollinated by worker ants. The pollinator is after the nectar which is pooled at the base of the labellum.  (see photo lower left)

It is difficult to comprehend the size of these flowers, when looking at close-up photos, but most are no larger than 3mm.  Keeping that in mind, it can be challenging to come to terms with the size of the pollen packets.  (see photo upper right)

 

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