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互利共生

共同成長:假連翹與長喙天蛾

Symbiosis

Living Together to Mutual Benefits: 

Golden Dewdrops (Duranta erecta) and the Long-beaked Hawk Moths (Macroglossum spilonotum)
蟲媒花需要昆蟲的協助來傳播花粉,某一種的花會配對指定的昆蟲,兩者合作無間.花經過多年的進化,它們會有特定的顏色,濃度適中的花蜜,甚至是花冠筒的長度來配合授粉的昆蟲.假連翹與長喙天蛾便是這樣的一對絕佳組合.沒有足夠長度的口吻是吸不到藏在花冠筒底部的蜜糖.

Insect-pollinated flowers (entomophily) need insects to help distribute pollens.  Each flower species has its own matching insect and they team up perfectly well. After years of evolution, flowers have adapted and adopted their own particular colors, moderate concentration of nectar, and even the appropriate length of corolla tube to match up with its particular insect.  Golden Dewdrops and the Long-beaked Hawk Moths are a dream team - if the mouthpiece of the insect is not long enough, it can never reach the nectar which is hidden right at the bottom of the corolla tube.

花瓣下方設有深色的蜜標,方便昆蟲對準目標,可真細心啊!

The dark-colored nectaries on the lower half of the petal allows insect to aim at it more easily.  It is really thoughtful, isn’t it?

小插曲:有一回長喙天蛾定翼飛在假連翹花堆中吸食花蜜,遊人見到無不驚呼見到"蜂鳥",谷主好心的介紹這不是鳥,而是天蛾,卻沒有人願意接受事實."成見"在一時三刻是不能改變的,自己只好離開現場.

A small episode:  A long-beaked hawk moth was sucking the nectar inside a golden dewdrops and the passerby all exclaimed in surprise that it was “humming bird” that they saw.  With good intentions, I tried to explain that it was not a bird, it was actually a moth.  Unfortunately, no one would like to accept the fact.  "Prejudice" cannot be changed overnight and there’s nothing I could do but leave.

*translated by Mary Chung

作者: Leon Lau, 譯者: Mary Chung

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