Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Posted by Becky Brinkman
For an answer, I'm turning to Dr. Mark Whitten at University of Florida-Gainesville and Dr. Günther Gerlach at Münich Botanical Garden, rockstars of Euglossine bee-orchid research. Acineta identification is tricky and I want a definitive answer. Dr. Gerlach is the author of the original 2003 publication of A. mireyae, so I'm sending pictures of these flowers, dissected. We'll see what he says.
The waxy fragrant flowers are carried on a pendant raceme. The sepals and petals form a hood around the column, creating a tunnel for the bee to enter. The bee obtains the fragrance by scratching at the base of the lip inside the tunnel. As the bee backs out, the viscidium of the pollinarium is stuck to the bee's scutellum. If the bee enters another Acineta flower, the pollinia are placed on the stigma as the bee backs out, and thus the flower is pollinated.