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Myrmecophila christinae (Orchidaceae) Isla Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Jul 18, 2017 Geotagged,Mexico,Myrmecophila christinae,Summer Click/tap to enlarge PromotedSpecies introCountry intro

Myrmecophila christinae (Orchidaceae)

Isla Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Jul 18, 2017

    comments (14)

  1. A fantastic orchid species, and remarkably left untouched on the island of Cozumel, despite its showiness and obvious appeal to collectors. As the genus name indicates, it is myrmecophilous, forming a mutually beneficial association with ants. They nest in the hollow pseudobulbs and consume nectar, and in return, defend the plant against herbivores. A win-win! Posted 4 years ago
  2. Wow, that’s a spectacular flower...and, so interesting about the ants! Posted 4 years ago
  3. Fantastic species in a pristine state, and captured so well! Posted 4 years ago
  4. Wow!
    That's an impressive Orchid and well captured in your picture.
    Posted 4 years ago
  5. Thanks! Posted 4 years ago
  6. At last! An orchid with my name! And of course, like me, amazing!!!!
    Seriously though, it's a wonderful looking orchid, and a brilliant capture. Thank you so much for posting.
    Posted 4 years ago
    1. Thanks! After seeing quite a few on top of trees, I was happy to finally get a good photo!
      Also, what kind of parent names their daughter Myrmecophila? :-p
      Posted 4 years ago, modified 4 years ago
  7. Well that's better than Christabella - which is what my Dad wanted to name me! Posted 4 years ago
  8. Well that's better than Christabella - which is what my Dad wanted to name me! Posted 4 years ago
  9. From today's JungleDragon Facebook post:

    "Orchids have a world all their own! They are profoundly intertwined with the communities and habitats in which they live. They are beautiful, sensitive, specific, and need the tender nurturing that their natural ecosystems provide. Myrmecophila christinae is a large orchid that is endemic to the Yucatán Peninsula, Belize, and Guatemala. The flowers grow atop slender, two meter tall stems that grow epiphytically on mangrove branches.

    This species of orchid has a special, symbiotic relationship with ants. At the base of each orchid stem is a pseudobulb, which resembles a banana, and is used for water storage. An opening at the base of each pseudobulb serves as an entrance for the ants, who live inside. The ants get nectar from the orchids and attack any herbivorous creatures that attempt to disturb the flowers. So, the ants acquire a place to live and food from the orchid, and in return, they protect the orchids from hungry herbivores and supply the orchids with nutrients, derived from ant waste and debris. This relationship is so essential that although the orchids can technically survive without ants, it is very rare to find them as such in nature. The ants aren't as reliant on the orchids and can have a symbiotic relationship with other plants; however, they appear to prefer the nectar of these orchids. Hence the apparent "love affair" between Myrmecophila christinae and its ants. {Spotted in Mexico by JungleDragon moderator, Thibaud Aronson} #JungleDragon"
    Posted 3 years ago
    1. Cool post Christine! Posted 3 years ago
      1. Thanks Thibaud! It's a fantastic shot! Posted 3 years ago
  10. Absolutely incredible - what a glorious grouping of blooms. Posted 2 years ago
    1. Thanks Ruth :) Posted 2 years ago

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Myrmecophila christinae is a species of orchid endemic to the Yucatan peninsula (in the biogeographic sense, which includes the Guatemalan province of Peten, and northern Belize).

Similar species: Agaves, Aloes, Onions
Species identified by Thibaud Aronson
View Thibaud Aronson's profile

By Thibaud Aronson

All rights reserved
Uploaded Feb 7, 2018. Captured Jul 18, 2017 10:52 in Unnamed Road, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
  • DMC-TZ70
  • f/6.3
  • 10/3200s
  • ISO800
  • 4.3mm