Orchids Fool Male Wasps Into Gay Sex!

Evolution is gay and now there’s scientific proof. Male orchids dress themselves in drag to fool horny young male wasps into homo-erotic pollination sex. Here’s the scene… It’s a sunny day. You’re flying around with your wasp buddies looking for hot petal. You spot a vivacious pink orchid and get intoxicated by her sweet perfume. “Don’t go over there bro,” advices your wasp buddy. “I think that flower might be a dude!” By this time you’re too horned up to care. You nuzzle up against her inner labellum. Blissfully unaware, her stamen enlarges as you buzz in ecstasy. Next thing you know, you’re covered in the orchid’s man nectar having a “Crying Game” moment. Your wasp buddies will never let you live this one down.  

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn13642-orchids-sexual-deception-triggers-ejaculation.html

 

Orchids are known for toying with males. Many species producefemale-mimicking perfumes that lure males into spreading pollen. But most insects merely touch down on the flowers.

Gaskett noticed, however, that dupe wasps (Lissopimpla excelsa) spent a lot of time around tongue orchids. Many left a visible blob on the flower after flying away. “We decided to check if they were wasting their sperm on the flowers,” she toldNew Scientist.

The biologists confirmed under the microscope that the blobs were composed of sperm cells.

Next, Gaskett set up field experiments to determine how often the wasps “had sex” with the flowers – and whether they eventually learned from their follies.

Young and innocent

On first visiting a tongue orchid, nearly three-quarters of wasps left sperm on the flowers. But after repeated visits, most insects stopped copulating with the flower.

“They are perhaps not really educated about what a real female looks like, and they make a bad decision,” Gaskett says.

But why might an orchid provoke such misdirected affection? Gaskett thinks that her experiments show an extreme form of sexual deception that helps the flowers spread their own seed.

 

“The orchids that caused the most extreme behaviour – pollination with ejaculation – have the highest pollination rate of any known sexually deceptive orchid,” she says. “I think ejaculation is just a side effect of having an extremely compelling orchid.”

 

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