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A marauder in the orchid nursery

July 22, 2011

Seeing a moth larva eating an Ornithochilus difformis orchid belonging to the Orchid Ark results in mixed feelings. Should I kill the larva, or rear it and see what species of moth it is? I decided not to get too split, and focus on the plants for the time being, not using the orchids as bug food. To monitor the orchids daily is essential to follow their blossom, fruiting and health. Thanks to another recent donation we now have 196 identified orchid species in the collection. The genus Ornithochilus (Orchidaceae) is small, only three species in the world. This species is in bloom in northern Thailand now. It has broad light green leaves similar to Phalaenopsis and small (5 mm) red and yellow flowers with a spurred and spiny lip. It prefers old, moist forests.

Text & Photo: Eric Danell

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