The Weekly Photo Challenge is: Details
Evolution is based on diversity and it all depends on the tiny details of the sweet nectar produced in the flowering plants. Sexual reproduction is the key to creating a diverse population. So, the plants had to find a way to spread their genetic material.
Flying pollinators, like bats, bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds were the answer. I set up my camera on a flowering zinnia to see if I could catch the detailed process of these flying pollinators.
Are you ready for your sweet reward?
The bee was the first one to arrive to collect the sweet nectar, a prerequisite for honey production.
But, when the butterfly arrived for a sip, the bee circled the flower almost as if to say, “Can we share our sugary treat?”
“Of course you can join me!” Then there were three flying pollinators sharing the sweet rewards of the zinnia.
Butterflies have a long narrow tube in their mouth called a proboscis that acts like a straw. Here the tiny proboscis is just beginning to jut out of the butterfly’s mouth.
Did you know that butterflies can taste with their feet? They have six legs and they each have sensors on them so they can tell just by landing on a flower what it tastes like.
The flower produces nectar at a rate that varies with the temperature and time of day, and the nectar will accumulate if no bird or insect visits the flower. This is a hardy nectar producing flower.
I marvel at the wondrous details of these nectar producing flowers.
Soon, the flower will have to replenish its sweet nectar supply in its glands called nectaries. But, there is always tomorrow.