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Mule Ear Orchid

Trichocentrum undulatum

Description:

The flower stalks of this endangered orchid are often destroyed by a parasitic fly (Melanagromyza miamensis), which lays its eggs inside the spike. The fly larvae then hatches and feeds on the stalk usually halting the growth of any flower buds. The fly is believed to be endemic to the Everglades and the earliest records of it are from the 1920's. This year, however, despite the troubles they face, a handful of orchids managed to let out a couple blooms. These inflorescences were still affected by the fly though, you can still see the exit holes of the fly in the stalk; and, they weren't as impressive as some of the older pics online show. Maybe some day we can see their magnificent blooms once again.

Habitat:

Coastal mangrove and button wood forest.

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MarioCisneros
Spotted by
MarioCisneros

Florida, USA

Spotted on Apr 3, 2013
Submitted on May 3, 2013

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