Ever heard the expression 'fresh as a daisy?' Well, the phrase might be a bit more naughty and flirtatious than you think.
Turns out that researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered that resourceful little daisies in drought-filled South Africa are shifting their petals to look like lady flies in order to seduce male flies.
A male fly approaches a flower, lands on top of what he thinks is a female fly, and jiggles around. He's trying to mate, but it isn't quite working. He has another go. Eventually, he gives up and buzzes off, unsuccessful. The plant, meanwhile, has got what it wanted: pollen.
The South African daisy, Gorteria diffusa, is the only daisy known to make such a complicated structure resembling a female fly on its petals.
"This daisy didn't evolve a new 'make a fly' gene. Instead, it did something even cleverer – it brought together existing genes, which already do other things in different parts of the plant, to make a complicated spot on the petals that deceives male flies," said Professor Beverley Glover at the University of Cambridge's Department of Plant Sciences and Director of the University's Botanic Garden, senior author of the study.
Read the complete article at flowerpowerdaily.com