How do plants attract pollinators?
Simply supplying nectar does not guarantee that the insect will come to a plant or transfer pollen to the pollen receivers of the same species. For this reason, plants use visual and scent cues to attract and direct insects. Scent is an effective way of luring pollinators. For example, strong smelling flowers tend to be visited by beetles and flies, while bees and butterflies visit sweet smelling flowers. It is also an effective means of directing pollinators to the pollen receivers. Cycads from inland Australia use scent to lure thrips for pollination. Thrips are very small insects that cannot carry many pollen grains, so the plant needs to attract large numbers of them. A male cycad cone laden with pollen will emit a strong and pungent scent that will attract as many as 50 000 thrips. Female cones also emit a scent once they are ready to receive pollen, which then attracts the pollen-laden thrips. Scent can also be used to trick insects into becoming pollinators. The Corpse Flower of