Figure 3

Plants and animals communicate with a range of visual, chemical and auditory signals. But these signals are not always honest. The ‘flower-like’ orchid mantis Hymenopus coronatus is a predatory insect that lures in pollinators as prey. Cryptostylus orchids give off wasp-like scents that trick male wasps into trying to mate with the flower and collecting the orchid’s pollen in the process. These are all examples of deceptive signals that exploit animal behaviours. I use field experiments, behavioural assays, and physiological models of animal perception to understand how these deceivers manage to trick the sensory systems of other organisms.