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Thread: Pest control on sarracenia.

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    Pest control on sarracenia.

    There's something eating my Dana's Delight, but not my purpurea or any other plant in the bog pot. It chews small holes into the side of the pitcher, which falls over after a couple days of this. I haven't seen what it is yet, but I think it's some sort of katydid. I'll stay up later to see what's doing it, but in the meantime any idea how to keep carnivorous plants eating bugs and not the other way around?

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Where do you live? It sounds like the Exyra moth. If you are on the West Coast it could be the Orange Tortrix which I've seen having bored holes in the sides of pitchers and making silk nests in the tubes. Bacteria thuringiensis should take care of the caterpillars. Look for products with names like "Caterpillar Killer". The Bt used for mosquito control is a different strain and is not very effective on caterpillars.


    http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq5520.html
    But there are also insects that live inside the pitchers, above the fluid line, and damage them by feasting upon their tissues. The larvae of three species of Exyra moths eat the pitcher walls, causing the top of the pitcher to topple over. Exyra rolandiana feasts only upon S. purpurea, Exyra ridingsii eats S. flava, and Exyra semicrocea infests the other species. The wasp Isodontia philadelphicus commandeers the pitchers of many Sarracenia species to house its developing grub. This wasp plugs the pitcher tube, rendering the plant unable to feed.
    It's kind of late in the season for the larvae which are usually most active mid-spring but the weather has been so off this year anything is possible.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    I'm in Connecticut, which seems to be in range from the Exyra, just that I haven't seen the larvae and they would go for my purpurea first, and that one is untouched. There's also a water beetle that lives in the tray, so do you think it could be causing problems by flying up at night?
    Last edited by Cruzzfish; 08-19-2015 at 01:20 PM.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    I'm in SE PA and wasps chew their way out of my Sarrs all the time.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
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    I second the wasp theory and see it several time a year in my own plants. Once in a while a determined yellowjacket will chew a big hole right through a pitcher in order to escape. Exyra moths do a completely different kind of damage, they strip the inner layers of tissue from the interior of the pitchers.

    Here is what damage from the Exyra moth looks like.









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    a picture is worth a thousand words....

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    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kulamauiman View Post
    a picture is worth a thousand words....
    Agreed.

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruzzfish View Post
    I'm in Connecticut, which seems to be in range from the Exyra, just that I haven't seen the larvae and they would go for my purpurea first, and that one is untouched. There's also a water beetle that lives in the tray, so do you think it could be causing problems by flying up at night?
    Depends on the species of the moth, E. semicrocea is less specific. Look inside or cut open the collapsed pitchers for silk tenting. The larvae overwinter on ground under leaf litter or on the crowns of the plant. Around mid-April they become active and climb up the tubes and bore an entrance hole. Then they seal off the pitcher with silk and munch away on the inside. Before they pupate they often bore an exit hole for the adult moth to leave from. If you are not seeing larvae it could be they are in the pupae or adult stage.

    There is another species of moth of which I do not recall the name that is specific to S. purpurea but only eats the seeds or fruits.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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