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Thread: What's eating my Sarr prey?

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    spdskr's Avatar
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    What's eating my Sarr prey?

    For the past few weeks I have noticed 1/8" holes adjacent to old prey in my Sarr pitcher walls. Today I spotted a small insect sticking its head out of one of these holes. It had a head and antennae somewhat like that of a wood louse, but the rest of the insect remained inside the pitcher. I have only noticed these holes in pitchers that have had prey for over a month, and only adjacent to large prey items. Has anyone else ever witnessed this. If so, I would love to know what these little "thieves" are. Thanks for your help.

    Duane

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    Californian in DC DrWurm's Avatar
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    I've had wasps chew holes from the inside before. I've also noticed holes on new pitchers too. Kinda drives me nuts sometimes when a nice new pitcher is coming up and some evil insect chews a hole in it before it even opens.

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    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spdskr View Post
    For the past few weeks I have noticed 1/8" holes adjacent to old prey in my Sarr pitcher walls. Today I spotted a small insect sticking its head out of one of these holes. It had a head and antennae somewhat like that of a wood louse, but the rest of the insect remained inside the pitcher. I have only noticed these holes in pitchers that have had prey for over a month, and only adjacent to large prey items. Has anyone else ever witnessed this. If so, I would love to know what these little "thieves" are. Thanks for your help.

    Duane
    I've noticed this exact same thing. On my pitchers that are full of bugs, and are about a month old, holes start randomly appearing in the sides, and I have no clue why or what is causing this. I've never seen anything I suspect to be the cause. I though it might be birds, but I've never seen a bird anywhere near my plants, ever.

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    cmm889's Avatar
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    well if we grow some Vft's big enough to eat birds... we'll be all good in stopping them haha

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    bucky78's Avatar
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    I have seen boring bees get trapped and chew their way out of a pitcher but the hole is bigger than 1/8". It could be a chewing insect that got trapped and was chewing its way out. Not for sure though.
    I don't want EVERY Sarracenia, just everyone that I see!!
    Growlist/Wantlist Updated 2/23/12:http://terraforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103039

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    If you were seeing holes bored in the pitcher mid-April - early May it's possible you have Exyra moths. The larvae overwinter in dead pitchers or in the top of the soil under leaf debris. Around April 15th they become active and crawl up the pitchers and bore a small hole to enter the pitcher. If the pitcher is not opened the larvae will chew around the inside top of the pitcher causing it to collapse and not open. Otherwise the larvae will seal the tube with silk. Before the larvae pupates it will bore an exit hole in the tube for the adult moth. The moth emerges and inhabits an open pitcher where it spends most of its life emerging only at night to mate or flit between pitchers.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    spdskr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    If you were seeing holes bored in the pitcher mid-April - early May it's possible you have Exyra moths. The larvae overwinter in dead pitchers or in the top of the soil under leaf debris. Around April 15th they become active and crawl up the pitchers and bore a small hole to enter the pitcher. If the pitcher is not opened the larvae will chew around the inside top of the pitcher causing it to collapse and not open. Otherwise the larvae will seal the tube with silk. Before the larvae pupates it will bore an exit hole in the tube for the adult moth. The moth emerges and inhabits an open pitcher where it spends most of its life emerging only at night to mate or flit between pitchers.

    Hmmm, I've read about these moths and seen pictures of adults and larvae. The insect that was poking its head out of the hole yesterday had chewing mouthparts like those of a cricket, but the antennae were much shorter. The holes in the older pitchers with prey are only 1/8" in diameter. If I see another one of these creatures poking its head out, I will try to grab it with some tweasers .

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    I would suspect a wasp of some sort.

    Maybe sacrifice a pitcher and cut it open in a tray.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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