Innovators are full of questions.Nature has answers.


  • Strategy

Optical illusion may attract insects: titan arum

The spathe of the titan arum may attract insects by creating an optical illusion of radiating bright light, using a delicate shading of red pigment that turns to white at the very bottom.

"Looking down into [the spathe's] depths, there seemed to be a light shining up from the bottom. The illusion was created by a fine shading of the red pigment that turned to white at the lowest point. If any insect flying in the neighbourhood was positively attracted by bright light - and there are many which are - then the spathe's colouring might have been an optical inducement to fly down to the depths of the great funnel and reach the flowers clustered around the base of the spadix." (Attenborough 1995:139)
About the inspiring organism
Amorphophallus titanum
Amorphophallus titanum (Becc.) Becc.
Common name: Titan arum

Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

IUCN Red List Status: Unknown

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Insect attraction.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Pest control, agriculture

Attenborough, D. 1995. The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior. London: BBC Books. 320 p.
Learn More at Google Scholar Google Scholar  


Login to Post a Comment.

No comments found.