20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Happy at last, covered in pollen and resting on a delicate white orchid

Many orchid species grow in marshy areas, some at high altitudes, where temperatures are rather low, even on the hottest summer days. One such orchid is Dactylorhiza fuchsii subsp. sooana var. albiflora, a very rare Romanian species that grows, in low numbers, in the alpine areas of the Inner Eastern Carpathians, Transylvania. Since the weather is usually rainy and chilly, pollinators are scarce, especially the butterflies that usually pollinate orchids. Instead, the orchids are visited mostly by beetles, much more resistant to such weather conditions. On this particular instance, I photographed a tired Longhorn Beetle, Lepturobosca virens (Family Cerambycidae), pollinating the flowers and resting on the top of the inflorescence (Orchids of Romania, by Nora De Angelli & Dan Anghelescu, 2020).

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 07.2022
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Mădăraş, Romania
Copyright: © Nora De Angelli