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Winners Photography Awards 2010

Fly with Pollen by Abhishek Jain

What you see here is a fly emerging from a diminutive forest orchid Bulbophyllum ornatissimum. The two yellow knobs? They are pollen packets, cleverly lodged on the fly after the flower deceived it into thinking it was a female fly and led it to mate with it! Incredible! The phenomenon of pollination made its appearance on earth around 300 million years ago. And when it did… the colour of the land and the way it smelled was forever changed. Scents and colours put out by blooms are enticements and bribes to induce insects and other creatures to deliver seeds from one immobile plant to another. Pollination caused a virtual evolutionary explosion and today over 20 per cent of all insects feed largely on nectar or pollen. Orchids are particularly deceptive and many species mimic female insects to trick males into copulating with them.
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