POLLINATION OF SKYVINE BY CARPENTER BEES

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“In early October 2014, I was admiring the pale, powdery purple inflorescence of the Skyvine (Thunbergia grandiflora, family Acanthaceae) along forest edge (above). As the delicate blossoms bathed in the gentle morning sun and swayed seductively in the balmy breeze, I could imagine how inviting the flowers must be if I were a bee.

“Indeed, the open invitations of each and every flower in bloom were eagerly accepted by visiting Carpenter Bees (Xylocopa latipes). Every time a bee enters the flower, it was plain to see how one was made for the other (above).

“This perfect fit of bee and flower ensures that pollen is deposited onto the thorax in sufficient quantities that can even be seen with the naked eye (above).

“Video clips of Carpenter Bee visitation (in actual speed) may be previewed below.

“Video clips of Carpenter Bee visitation (in slow motion) may be previewed below.

Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
Singapore
1st December 2014

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