If you thought defrauding people by gaining their confidence was a trait of the humans, then let’s unveil you a plant that is an impeccable double-cross!
They belong to the genus Ophrys and come under the Ophrys insectifera type of species. Since they bear a strong resemblance to the bodies of bees, they are therefore referred to as “Bee Orchids.” These flowers mimic female bees to such an extent that male bees find it hard to decipher that they actually are flowers, as they look and even smell like female bees. The ardent males get allured by their beauty and smell and eventually get duped into mating with these flowers. This sexual deception is a tactic to attract pollinators.
Researchers believe that they produce “bee sex pheromones”, chemicals that are released by female bees to attract male bees for mating. So this pheromone acts as a stimulator which calls for mating. This kind of hybrid mating is known as “pseudocopulation.” The bees then inadvertently carry the pollen and transfer it to other flowers when they get seduced into “pseudocopulation” once again.
Ophrys orchids are aboriginal to Asia Minor, South America and North Africa and Mediterranean region. Their survival depends on symbiotic fungi. They grow to a height of 6-20 inches (15-50 cm) and their blooming period is from June to July.