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Thread: pitcher plant wasp

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    cp-connection's Avatar
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    pitcher plant wasp

    These little guys like to stuff grass and crickets in the pitchers.




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    Got Drosera? Indiana Gardener's Avatar
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    Does it overfeed the pitcher, completely stop it up from getting any food at all, or no harm done?

    There's no way I would get that close to that thing. They've nearly killed me three times already...

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    I've got a magic window! elgecko's Avatar
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    My guess would be it's laying an egg in the pitcher. The grass is to help protect it from any other insects that would eat it, and the grasshoppers are food when it hatches.


    My Grow List Updated 8/24/17

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    Two flies one pitcher. Minus the crap eating. obregon562's Avatar
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    thats really, really cool! i wish i had some of that symbiosis going on over here!
    "It's easy to rip on cops, when you aren't the one needing saving"

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    OMG h8 pings MrFlyTrap2's Avatar
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    Becareful what you wish for... When the insect lays the egg, insect and places the grass on top it will finish the job by eating away the top of the pitcher so it folds over. They can do a good job at damaging a nice sarra collection.
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    "It is only by studying nature that can we ever hope to defeat it."

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    cp-connection's Avatar
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    In my experience the wasp larvae eat the grasshoppers only. It makes a brown spot on the leaf where the grass plugs are.

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    I can't believe you are that close to that foul-looking thing. So far, my Sars just eat the yellowjackets that come around - they don't look like that though. The summers are so dry here, that every flying insect for a long way came to get the water my plants were sitting in, which created a feeding frenzy for the plants, but made watering them hazardous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFlyTrap2 View Post
    Becareful what you wish for... When the insect lays the egg, insect and places the grass on top it will finish the job by eating away the top of the pitcher so it folds over. They can do a good job at damaging a nice sarra collection.
    Those are generally moths from the genus 'Exyra'. They also have a peculiar habit of laying only one egg per pitcher. The larva will quickly eat around the perimeter of the trap causing the top to wilt. Evidently this wasp is catching prey that will serve as food for its offspring and then sealing it to prevent other predators from catching its eggs. I agree with with ElGecko's assessment and would further venture say that it's a beneficial relationship between the sarras and the wasp in that the fecal matter from their larva and physical breakdown of prey probably benefit the plant while the wasp larva get protection and lodging from the plant.
    "There is no pain as great as being alive,
    no burden heavier than that of conscious life. "
    -Rubén Darío-

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