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Thread: Do pitcher plants make bugs suicidal?

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    This year I decided to let my vfts flower for the first time so I could hopefully collect seed. Anyways I was out at the bog garden pollinating them when I saw a fly land on the lip of a S. Rubra hybrid and I watched him for a few seconds and it appeared as if he just dived in!. There was no falling or crawling down he jumped! So I continue pollinating my VFTs and another fly lands on my Judith Hindle so I watch him and the same thing happens. The fly dives right into the trap but this one got lucky and after bumbling around managed to fly out. So I take the opportunity to look in the trap and I notice it is full almost to the top with the itty bitty brown ants and they are all alive and wiggling. It doesn't look like they are trying to get out they are just sitting their wiggling. It seems as if an ant would be able to crawl out of a pitch plant as I have seen them crawl on almost any substance like latex paint and glass. So does the nectar from Sarracenia make bugs suicidal? I wish I had a video camera to take some film clips of the flies diving in and to look at the bugs squirming in the trap. It was crazy cool.

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    [It doesn't look like they are trying to get out they are just sitting their wiggling. It seems as if an ant would be able to crawl out of a pitch plant as I have seen them crawl on almost any substance like latex paint and glass.QUOTE]

    The inside walls of the pitchers are lined with exfoliating wax scales. As they try to climb out, the wax scales break away.

    Brian

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    I saw the exact same thing the other day with my biggest pitcher! It just flew straight in.

    I don't know if the neck markings look like a giant arrow to insect eyes!
    Alexis Vallance, U.K.
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Brian_W @ June 27 2005,4:16)][It doesn't look like they are trying to get out they are just sitting their wiggling. It seems as if an ant would be able to crawl out of a pitch plant as I have seen them crawl on almost any substance like latex paint and glass.QUOTE]

    The inside walls of the pitchers are lined with exfoliating wax scales. As they try to climb out, the wax scales break away.

    Brian
    but they should still be able to climb on the other bugs. They weren't even doing that. Like I said they were just wiggling their legs.

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    The nectar on Sarracenia pitchers is suppoed to contain a mild narcotic. I have seen drunken wasps on my plants. That may explain the behavior you are seeing. Remember, don't drug and fly.
    I remain a man obsessed with a genus
    Brooks

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    lol. reminds me of when i saw a BIG moth fly right into our campfire once.

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    I wonder if carnivorous plants have managed to simulate the phernomes of insects -- normally used to help attract a mate? Perhaps the insects smell this "mate" scent and dive in to find her (him)?

    Just speculation but who knows what will be discovered in the future about these plants?
    Diana Pederson
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    That's terrible! There's no worse a way to die then to think that you're going to find a hot girl and then get devoured alive!

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