GGiant Sphinx Moth seen visiting Ghost Orchid

Discussion in 'Orchidaceae (orchids)' started by chrisaggie, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. chrisaggie

    chrisaggie Member

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    Sunrise, FL USA
    In April of 2007 I found an amazing place with many Dendrophylax lindenii (the famous ghost orchid). Since then I have thoroughly enjoyed documenting these plants (with the grateful help of Mike Owen at Fakahatchee). I have recorded a spreadsheet of information about the plants including numbering each individual plant, recording data such as root length, number of live/dead rots, height, tree species, etc. During my ghost orchid outings I have come across three Florida panthers (together) and even was charged by a black bear (both of which I will never ever forget!).

    During the last many months I have been planning of the Ghost Orchids to open this year so that I can attempt to so the giant sphinx moth (the theorized pollinator of the Ghost Orchid). I knew this would be a challenging task as no one to my knowledge has ever seen this meeting.

    May 17th, 2008, my wife, Misti, and I were out waiting for a moth to visit one of the Ghost Orchids. At some point over the buzzing of mosquitoes we both heard a low hum and then we saw movement in the moon light coming between the trees. The giant sphinx moth buzzed extremely close to Misti twice and then as we both were watching the flower it happened! The moth flew to the flower and then was quickly gone. The light at night was very dim and neither of us were sure if we had really seen what happened. Could it be?!? Luckily we had an infrared video camera set up pointed at the flower.

    When we got home I nervously watched the video and couldn’t believe it, we had captured this amazing moment on video!

    Please visit out website to learn more and view the video. The video is located on the pollination page. I hope you enjoy! www.GhostOrchid.info
     
  2. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    You, Sir, have dedication...
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thank you for sharing!

    I'd be happy to feature the ghost orchid (and your site) on Botany Photo of the Day if you have an image you are willing to share.
     
  4. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Great video mate!!
    The moth was certainly quick...

    Ed
     

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