Flowers can increase their pollination efficiency by attracting insects that carry their pollen to a nearby flower of the same species. Most flowers act in “good faith”. They reward the insect pollinators with nutrient-containing nectar. One South African orchid, Disa ferruginea, has a single butterfly pollinator, Meneris tulbaghia, but does not reward it for its effort. Instead it mimics another flower, Tritoniopsis triticea, which rewards its pollinators with nectar. S.D. Johnson* noted that Disa ferruginea, has high levels of pollination and fruit production in locations where Tritoniopsis triticea, grows nearby. In locations where Tritoniopsis triticea, is not present, the orchid bears much less fruit. Disa ferruginea can get by “on the cheap by mimicry. Butterflies used to getting rewards from flowers will inadvertently visit these mimics. However, that strategy also limits the range of the orchid mimic to that of its flower model. In areas where Disa ferruginea, grows without its model flower present, butterflies rarely visit to pollinate them because the butterflies are not rewarded for their effort. Incentives matter.
*S.D. Johnson. 1994. Evidence for Batesian mimicry in a butterfly-pollinated orchid. The Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 53: 91–104