“I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Two groups of tropical vines rely for reproduction on the world’s only known species of pollen-eating butterfly. Neither vine has very showy flowers, nor do their flowers have any scent. However, they don’t need to attract pollinators because the Heliconius butterfly depends on the pollen produced by the vines for its food. So the butterflies don’t go far from their food source.
Since the butterfly depends on the pollen, the vines produce many more male flowers than female. This keeps its army of pollinators well fed. Being messy eaters, the butterflies end up with pollen all over them.
But what would attract the butterfly to the female flower, which can be up to 20 feet away? Two tricks are used. First, a female flower usually grows close to where a male flower has just withered. Second, the female flower, while producing no pollen, looks just like the male flower to invite the butterfly’s attention.
Did you see the intelligence in this arrangement? If only chance were involved, why would the only known species of pollen-eating butterfly be found with the only known vines that rely on their services? This is a very big planet! If there is no design in this arrangement, why should these vines offer female flowers that look like the males so that they will be pollinated? It is so clear that these butterflies were custom-made for these vines, and the vines were made for the butterflies. This is a witness to a personal Creator Who is personally involved in life on Earth!
Prayer: Father, just as You provide every living thing with its needs for life, You have provided for my earthly life. You have also provided for my eternal life through the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ. Thank You! Amen.
Author: Paul A. Bartz
Ref: Batten, Mary. 1983. “Sex & plants.” Science Digest, Oct. p. 61.Photo: Zebra butterfly PD
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