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Thread: Pitcher fluid

  1. #1

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    This is a silly question, but are there factors that influence pitcher fluid production?

    I ask because it seems as if my rafflesiana produces very little fluid for decent sized pitchers. A comparably sized ventrata pitcher produces at least twice that amount of fluid.

    They receive the same light, temperature, humidity conditions.

    So is it just that rafflesianas naturally produce little fluid, or am I missing something?


    Colin

  2. #2
    swords's Avatar
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    Each species likely produces it's own certain quantity as well as quality of fluid. Fluid in Neps like N. inermis is very thick and gooey whereas my N. maxima hybrid plants fluid is very thin and watery - whenever I move the maxima plants I get fluid dumped on me chock full of digested bug corpses! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]

    More prey seems to increase the amount of fluid the pitcher generates. Normally my plants unfed pitchers stay around 1/6th full of natural fluid but once I begin to feed the pitchers steadily (every 2-3 weeks) the pitchers fluid level increases to around 1/4 full on the very largest pitchers I have. I do not water the pitchers so it is either plant produced or condensation. However, with reduction in feeding the fluid level seems to go back down to the 1/6 level.

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    the pitchers fluid level increases to around 1/4 full on the very largest pitchers I have. I do not water the pitchers so it is either plant produced or condensation. However, with reduction in feeding the fluid level seems to go back down to the 1/3 level.[/QUOTE]
    ummm, i don't know, but if the pitchers are 1/4 full, how can it go down to 1/3 level? i thought 1/3 was larger than 1/4 [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img] . back to the topic. my rafflesia pitcher is producing a lot of liquid. the pitchers where empty, and are half full now, but the pitchers are farly small. the pitchers have 4 small ants in them. Zongyi
    What you want to do is illeagle here in Canada.
    Email does not work! Use PM or yangzongyi@hotmail.com instead.

  4. #4
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Generally larger pitchers have less fluid in them, unless they are fed alot. N. truncata increased pitcher fluid levels when I fed it a dying praying-mantis, a few large grasshoppers, lots of flies and the occasional wasp. So to speak, the more you feed the more fluid you will recieve. Smaller pitchers on the other hand have more fluid in ratio comparison to larger plants' pitchers. An N. tobiaca pitcher 2 inches tall might be 1 inch full of water while a 24 inch tall N. truncata pitcher might be 8 inches of fluids BUT size of the pitcher is the key, to equal the same fluid level of the N. tobiaca pitcher the N. truncata pitcher might need to be filled up leaving only 4 inches of free space from the pitcher mouth, then that would give you an equal ratio of the pitcher fluid in both sizes.

    In conclusion, if you want your palnts to have more fluid, add a little water and feed more.

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    Those are very interesting observations indeed, although I have noticed my rafflesiana does not quite conform.

    First, even though I occasionally add water to the pitchers, the water either evaporates or is absorbed, leaving me with relatively little fluid all the time.

    Second, my rafflesiana catches a decent number of ants, about a few hundred per pitcher per month, I think. Yet the fluid level barely seems to cover the mound of dead ants.

    In contrast, my ventrata pitchers have so much fluid, it's hard to see what they've caught. I realise some of this is due to pitcher shape and size, but it did seem a bit unusual to me.



    Colin

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    swords's Avatar
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    It isn't necessary to intentionally add water to the pitchers of those species without reclined lids. Those pitchers who have greatly reclining lids and/or extremely large openings and small lids (N. inermis, dubia, ampullaria, fusca, campanulata, etc.) are often filled with a mix of fluid and rainwater in the wild sometimes seem to last longer when kept partially full of water. My N. inermis, ampullaria, and fusca do, my campanulata hasn't any pitchers yet and the dubia hasn't arrived but I expect the results to be the same with these two given their shape and lid orientation. Generally speaking however, adding water to the pitchers dilutes the pitcher fluid and may cause the next prey not to digest properly and end up rotting (or inviting fungus) inside the pitcher.

    It's good that your plant is naturally attracting such a large number of prey. If the pitcher gets overfed it may die but the plant will have gleaned a lot of the nutrients from the ants and put forth bigger pitchers in time.

    If you continue to experiment with adding water to the N. rafflesiana and it seems to do well let us know with a post. Mines still small yet so I haven't had time to play around. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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