Photo spotlight: pollinator gecko

This lizard is beauty, this lizard is grace—even if this lizard has a bit of pollen on its face.

Humans might hold a little stigma toward those who walk around with food on their nose, but for these ornate day geckos (Phelsuma ornata), the only “stigma” they’re concerned with is the pollen-receptor kind in plants.

 

In many island systems, lizards serve as important and understudied pollinators. Hopping from plant to plant, they enthusiastically feed on nectar, transporting pollen in the process as it rubs off on their nose and gets carried to the next destination. It’s not unusual to see the ornate, multicolored skin of this lizard sprinkled with delicate yellow pollen grains.

Read more in Frontiers EcoPics.

Photo credit: Patrick D Moldowan

Author: Zoe Gentes

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