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Uploaded on Apr 4, 2010
A short clip showing a male of the solitary bee Colletes cunicularius (Hym. Colletidae) attempting copulation with the flower labellum of the orchid Ophrys arachnitiformis. The orchid does not produce any reward of any kind but manages to attract its exclusive pollinator through the emission of a particular kind of floral scent that mimics the female sex pheromone of one particular solitary bee species. The chemical mimicry is fairly accurate, the orchids emit the same odour compounds as the female bees and the males find the orchids even more irresistible than their own females.
I have published several articles on this system, see e.g. aob.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/mcp208 and pnas.org/content/105/21/7484.abstract
Video shot with the Nikon D3s + Nikkor 105mm VR at ISO 200 and f/32