Object of the Week – 09/05/13

Something is afoot in the museum. A very big foot. But whose is it?

 

Did you know what last week’s object of the week was?

Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)

Well done if you knew the photo last week was of a Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera). We have several specimens upstairs in the museum which form part of a display on mimicry. 

The word ‘Ophrys’ is taken from the Greek word for eyebrow and ‘apifera’ refers to the bee-shaped lip of the flowers.

The Orchid visually mimics female bees and to a male bee it also feels and smells like one. Male bees try to copulate with the flowers and in doing to transfer pollen between them.