27 April, 2016

The Giant Sphinx Moth and the Ghost Orchid


Among the Top 14 of the world's rarest flowers, the ghost orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii) was once presumed to be extinct. This orchid is only found in certain areas of Florida and Cuba, both underground and on cypress trees, and its strange texture and eerie look provide the reason for such a haunting name. During its short blooming season, the ghost orchid emits fragrant scents used to attract Giant Sphinx Moths, the only known pollinators of this plant. They are experts at finding sweet-smelling flowers that are highly fragrant with long floral tubes concealing pools of thin but abundant nectar. Giant Sphinx moths are likened to super tankers that fly after dark from blossom to blossom. They have the longest tongues of any other moth or butterfly, some up to 14 inches long. 


Sources

Rare Flowers 
Hawk Moths 

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