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Thread: Question - Ants on Nepenthes

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    Question - Ants on Nepenthes

    This morning I just noticed a couple small black ants on my Nepenthes. They seemed attracted to the tiny beads of nectar that formed on the underside of the leaves. I just checked the plant a few minutes ago and now the plant has a large number of the ants on it, all sucking on the nectar beads. I can see they're coming from outside in through the window.

    Can the ants harm the plant? Should I try to get rid of them? Any hints or knowledge would be helpful.

    Thanks,

    - Alex

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    it's fine, once they are drunk with nectar they will most likelyf fall in the pitcher, check daily

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    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    No. Ants and Nepenthes form a symbiotic relationship in the wild. Well, maybe not symbiotic, but they certainly won't harm your plant. If anything, some may fall in and feed your Nepenthes. I would be more worried about where else the ants are going.

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Thanks for the replies so far. They didn't look as though they were harming the plant. It just recently started pitchering so none of them have opened yet. Its pitchers are 3/4" - 1" long.

    I wish they'd find their way up to my hanging one above it. Its 6" pitchers look hungry.

    - Alex

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    They don't get drunk. They slip and fall. In two species (N. aristolochioides and N. klosii) they are tricked by light.

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    Capensis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustLikeAPill View Post
    They don't get drunk. They slip and fall. In two species (N. aristolochioides and N. klosii) they are tricked by light.
    Actually, I've read somewhere that scientists don't know the reason why they get drunk.
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=6789&dateline=1352508752

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    I left my ventrata outside on the ground last year for the whole summer, no ants fell into the pitchers, only centipedes, pill bugs, and slugs.
    Finer in 09'er

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    I'm sure you did read that. I'm also sure that Nepenthes do not produce any known compounds that have any narcotic/debilitating effect at this time. The only CP that is known to produce anything is S. flava, which produces a Coniine.

    Show me a group of insects that are fed Nepenthes nectar, then fall over, can't move properly, are slowed (not slowed by sticky nectar, I mean chemically depressed), or are somehow affected differently from a control group, then I'll say it may have something in it. You can't. Not at this time, at least.

    Just because you read something does not make it true.

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