Jun. 27, 2018

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In response to my uninspired whine yesterday, Paul suggested a series on state wildflowers.  That's coming up.  I looked at a list, and one thing led to another led to another led to yucca.  And once I thought yucca, I thought of their moths.  And for the first time in close to a seventy year acquaintance, I wondered what they were like for the moths.  So I took myself on a date last night, and was rewarded.  I really didn't know yucca at all!

Yuccas and their moths are a little famous among biologists.  They have co-evolved into a dedicated relationship.  The yuccas are pollinated only by certain moths.  And the moth larvae only eat yucca seeds.  The moth females collect and deposit pollen with specially evolved mouth structures, then lay eggs in the ovary.  There are some date crashers, who eat other parts, and one that doesn't pollinate at all.  Dates still get complicated.

Here's a natural light daytime image.  The other was of course taken with flash.