Weekly Photo Challenge: The Nitty-Gritty on Nectar

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.

IMG_1694But, when the butterfly arrived for a sip, the bee circled the flower almost as if to say, “Can we share our sugary treat?”

IMG_1695“Of course you can join me!” Then there were three flying pollinators sharing the sweet rewards of the zinnia.

IMG_1697Butterflies 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.

IMG_1701Did 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.

IMG_1709The 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.

IMG_1723I marvel at the wondrous details of these nectar producing flowers.

IMG_1712Soon, the flower will have to replenish its sweet nectar supply in its glands called nectaries.   But, there is always tomorrow.



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