Thursday, August 1, 2013
Bulbophyllum tingabarinum Garay, Hammer, Siegrist 1994, has proven to be wildly attractive to a species of local fly.
The flowers of Bulbophyllum tingabarinum opened about two days ago. This morning when I walked into the garden I found the flowers had attracted four or five flies that were walking all over the flowers. I sampled the fragrance and found it stinky and disgusting. However it appears the flies found it highly attractive. The fragrance, at least in my orchid is not strong, you have to get close to the flowers to "savor" the full effect. Most of the flies fled when I moved the orchid to a new location to take photos of the flowers. But a stubborn one hanged for dear life from the flower and would not leave it even when I got very close with the camera. The fly seemed particularly taken with the lip, in particular the area just under the column. This particular fly was too small and light to properly activate the pollination mechanism in the flowers of Bulb, tingabarinum. The fly seemed to be looking for something in the flower and explored every single part, the sepals, the petals, the lip and even the column. When I finished taking photos, the fly was still busy and oblivious, moving over the inflorescence.