Parasites & Lunar Phase

The Mediterranean plant species Ephedra foemina, also called joint-pine or Mormon tea, is a gymnosperm (a group of plants that includes conifers, cycads and Gingko) that relies on insects for pollination. Its little cones produce droplets of fluid that help stick its pollen to passing insects, but it has no flowers or scent to grab the attention of would-be pollinators.

So how does the joint-pine attract passing insects? The answer lies in the way the droplets of fluid reflect moonlight, producing a sparkling effect under polarizing light that attracts beetles and other nocturnal insects to the plants.