Darwin’s Slipper Flower in Visible and UV Radiation : 2011

Photograph by

Heather Angel HonFRPS

About this image

Flowers of Darwin’s Slipper (Calceolaria uniflora) photographed under visible light (left) and ultraviolet radiation (right). Some birds and insects have vision that extends into the ultraviolet and are able to see subtle patterns in the petals of certain flowers. In this image, the right-hand view shows that part of the petal (red) absorbs ultraviolet. Seedsnipes (Thinocorus rumicivorus) are attracted to pick the larger white patch, as they feed they rub the stamens of the flower with their head. In this way they transport pollen to other plants. C. uniflora is native to Tierra del Fuego in the extreme south of South America. These images were captured on a Nikon D3 camera with 105mm macro lens. The visible light image was illuminated with a Nikon SB900 flash, the ultraviolet image with a Metz 76 UV flash that provides illumination in the 290-410nm wavelength range. Natural Visions, Surrey, United Kingdom