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Excerpts from
VOLUME 76, NO. 2—April, May, June 2012

Orchids and Lepidoptera: Sex Night and Day
Carol Siegel
16 pages, 17 photos

Skipper butterfly carrying pollinia on Platanthera psycodes.
© Jim Stamp

When we want to have sex, we have no problem. We go on a date, we have dinner, we fall in love, we get married. With legs and cars, we are easily on the move, and genetic material is easily delivered. For orchids, stuck in the ground or clinging permanently to a tree, finding the other half is a real problem. Immobile, orchids usually rely on insects to do their legwork for them, selecting and gathering and delivering genetic material essential for the next generation. Insects are the reproduction delivery boys, the indispensible FedEx men in the orchid reproductive game.
The Lepidoptera, butterflies and moths, help make sure that genetic delivery is a 24-hour service, with butterflies, for the most part, doing daytime delivery and moths taking the night shift. A versatile group, some moths fly in the day, and some butterflies fly at night, so there are always lots of Lepidoptera available to pollinate orchids. Butterflies are thought to pollinate three percent of all orchids and moths to pollinate an additional eight percent; with an estimated 35,000 orchid species, they are responsible for the survival of at least 3,600 species...

Padre Angel Andreetta (1920 – 2011)
Olaf Gruss
4 pages, 18 images

PADRE ANGEL Andreetta was born in 1920 in Castions di Zoppola in Friuli–Venezia Giulia, a northern region of Italy. In 1939, the very young Italian came to Ecuador as a missionary. On March 28, 1952, he was consecrated in Cuenca as a priest of the Salesian monastery. During more than 30 years of missionary work, he travelled through many regions of Ecuador. He settled for a few years in Bomboiza and eventually lived in Yumancay Paute where he lived for 29 years until his death...

Padre Angel Andreetta
(1920 – 2011)

Orchids and Evolution: Science on the Witness Stand
Alec Pridgeon
10 pages, 10 photos/diagrams

Evolutionary tree from Hunter’s Civic Biology, which Bryan ridiculed.

Since publication of Darwin’s (1859) On the Origin of Species, there have been doubts, debates, and several trials over the issue of evolution. It continues today, primarily in the United States. According to a Pew Research Center telephone survey taken 7-17 July 2005 in the United States under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International, a plurality of Americans (48%) said that humans and other living things have evolved over time, but nearly as many (42%) said that humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time. In another poll taken among citizens of European nations, Japan, and the U.S., Americans were next to last in accepting evolution, ranked above only the people of Turkey (Miller et al., 2006). Why? And why should orchid growers be concerned?...

Dendrobium rhabdoglossum: A Poorly Known Species in Section Calyptrochilus
Lisa Thoerle, Peter O’Byrne & André Schuiteman
6 pages, 5 photos/illustractions

Any orchid grower familiar with a range of Dendrobium Sw. species would take one look at this species and say it belonged in section Calyptrochilus. That would be correct, but probably not for the right reasons.
Rudolph Schlechter established section Calyptrochilus in 1905 in order to separate a group of mostly New Guinea Dendrobium species from the widespread section Pedilonum. In the 1912 part of his monumental work Die Orchidaceen von Deutsch-Neu-Guinea, Schlechter wrote: “This section is related closely to certain forms of Pedilonum... however, it may be recognized always by the apex of the labellum, which is abruptly cowl-shaped, toothed, bent and folded inwards.”...

The plant of Dendrobium rhabdoglossum is nearly hidden by its flowers.
©Darrin Norton

Book Review: Vanilla Orchids: Natural History and Cultivation by Ken Cameron
Review by Greg Truex
2 pages, 1 photo

Ken Cameron’s book, Vanilla Orchids: Natural History and Cultivation, is a gem.
Covering a very wide range of topics, Cameron puts vanilla in its rightful place as an important orchid, both for the serious orchid grower and the ice cream fancier. Beginning with the introduction, the book deals with vanilla's role in human culture and as an important commercial product. The book offers interesting information on technical aspects of vanilla production...