Insect And Pollination Of Flowers

Insect And Pollination Of Flowers

Insects and flowers have enjoyed a long lasting friendship since time immemorial. Their mutual understanding has led to a symbiotic relationship. Neither of them can survive without the other and are therefore one of the best examples of coexistence. Insects are one of the main vectors for pollination, a process vital for plants to reproduce and increase in number.

The flowers produce sweet sugary juice called nectar. This coupled with flowers’ strong fragrance is a perfect combination for attracting insects. Different species of insects are attracted to different types of plants. The insect draws its daily dose of nourishment from the flowers’ nectar. In the process, the insect ends up brushing the pollen stalks of the male flowers. The pollens are naturally sticky and adhere firmly to the insect’s body. When the same insect sits on another flower for drawing nectar out, it unknowingly places these pollens on the female flowers. The pollen travels through the stigma, reaches the ovary and fuses with the ovum to form embryos. These embryos can develop into flowers or fruits, which ripen and release seeds.

This type of pollination is called entomophily. The flowers are brightly colored to attract the insects. You will find red, blue, white, yellow and purple flowers being pollinated by bees, butterflies, beetles, moths, etc. A few flowers are protandrous. Here, the male flowers will mature before the female flowers. This is an in built mechanism by plants to prevent self-pollination. The striking colorations, difference timings for maturity and production of sweet nectar are flowers’ means to attract insects.

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Insect And Pollination Of Flowers