Aw, so it won't fit in one of my small 10 gallon vertical vivariums, at least not forever.
Would like to get one though, how exactly does it "catch flies" is it sticky or something? I wonder if dart tads would become prey if their parents deposited them in this bromiliad?
The powdery wax on these plants is quite interesting. If the plants are touched, or anything rubs against the leaves where the powder is present, or when they are hit with a good blast from a strong jet spray, the waxy coating is readily and easily removed.
The waxy substance is chalk-like in substrance. I scraped off some of this wax along the back of a leaf with a toothpick. As I scraped along, gathering a small pile of the powdery white substance on the toothpick, I noticed little puffs of exploding dust being kicked up in front of the toothpick. It reminded me of chalkdust, and the vibration of the toothpick being scraped along was enough to set this dust free, into small cloudbursts of very fine wax powder.
I then placed a narrow line of this collected dust on my index finger, and rubbed my thumb and for*****er together. The white powder did not melt away or disappear as I had thought it might. In fact, instead of disappearing, the line of powder remained where it had been placed, caught in place between the ridges of the whorls and grooves of my fingerprint.
And it is that property of the powdery wax, that seems to gum up the suction cups and fine microscopic gripping hairs of the flies trying to escape the watery bowels of the Catopsis trap. My observations of fruit flies trying to escape fom the main bowl was that they seemed to have a very hard time getting their front two feet to grasp onto anything, except for the loose, breaking away and ever-coating wax.
Here are a couple of links that discuss the trapping mechanism of C. berteroniana...basically the surface tension of the water in the main urn and between the leaf axils of this bromeliad, in combination with the breakaway loose, slippery white powder coating the leaves further prevents insects and orthopods from escaping.