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A buzzing wild bee (Exomalopsis analis) visiting a flower of cultivated tomato.

The tomato flowers are characterized by possessing poricidal anthers, which restrict the exit of the pollen to a tiny opening on the apex of the anther. To extract pollen efficiently, some visiting bees grasp the anthers and quickly contracting their flight muscles, producing vibrations and an audible sound. The vibrations are transferred to the anthers, shaking and stimulating the pollen inside them to leave by the pores, a phenomenon known as floral sonication or buzz-pollination. DOI: pcbi.1009426

Image Credit: Priscila de Cássia Souza Araújo (co-author of the manuscript) photographed this bee visiting flowers of tomato plants grown at the experimental fields of the Federal University of Viçosa (Minas Gerais State, Brazil). We confirm that the image can publish under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( The authors own the copyright for the image and confirm that agree with open Access License of PLOS Computational Biology.