STEGOSTYLA CONGESTA - MIMICRY

The 'Black-tongue' Stegostyla uses a different trick on pollen-searching bees.

The labellum is designed, not as a female decoy to arouse male insects, but rather it appears to be an anther.

Several Australian native plants have blackish porous anthers that require shaking to dislodge the pollen.  (see photo right)

Apparently this orchid mimics these so called buzz-pollinated plants to lure bees to the labellum, which the bee vibrates in a futile attempt to shake non-existent food source free from the structure.

In doing so, the hard working bee gets plastered with pollinia from the orchid.  (see photo left)

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