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Thread: Ant attracting pitchers

  1. #1

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    I was playing around with the camera in my glasshouse today and got a few shots that I thought were interesting. Especially base on my post last month asking about ants being attracted to the pitchers.

    First is my N. rafflesiana. Only a couple of ants:





    Next is my N. ventricosa. Its interesting to note that this plant currently has about 10 active pitchers yet this was the only one that was attracting ants today (different pitchers seem to attract the ants on different days:





    Aaron.

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    Did any of the ants fall in the Pitcher or did they just feed off the nectar and leave?
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    Peter,

    Many ants fell into the N. ventricosa. My best guess is 50-100 ants in the ventricosa and half a dozen or so in the raff.

    Aaron.

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    Sweetness. Very nice pictures!
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  5. #5

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    LOL, its really funny to watch as they look into the pitcher then....slip!

    *plop*
    1 Nxventrata

    D. muscipula & D. muscipula 'Red Dragon'(barely)

    Sarracenia leucophylla(seedling)

    S. purpurea and Drosera filiformis filiformis/ intermedia seeds waiting to sprout.

    Drosera capensis

  6. #6

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    Travis, Thanks mate, and yes they are sweet ;-)

    Hope I’m not going to be banished for this but I actually did a little taste test yesterday as well. Very surprising how sweet the nectar is that some pitchers produce.

    Definitely better than the horrid sweetish/rotten smell my S. Leucophylla produces. I’ve had to move it out of the glasshouse due to the smell, but the bugs sure love it!

    NFT, LOL. Don't know about 'funny" but certainly fascinating to watch.

    What I found interesting is that the ants are quite active and excited (normal behaviour for an ant) when going too the pitcher. However, after some time feeding they seem to get almost drunk or drowsy, then fall in. My best ‘guestimation’ is that about 1/3 to 1/2 of the ants that came to feed did not escape.

    Could there be something in the nectar that has this effect?

    Aaron.

  7. #7
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    Hi Aaron,
    Yes, the nep nectar is drugged. The ants do indeed get "drunk" (or high? trippin? whatever).
    You won't get banished for tasting the nep nectar...I've done it on my truncata x ventricosa. It's like honey.
    I think the smell from your leuco is coming from the bodies in the pitcher decomposing, not the pitcher nectar....not sure on that, though.

    Great pics!



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  8. #8
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    those are some really nice clear pictures.... I must admit I've tasted the necter on more then once instance.... it is sweet, I can see why the ants would go for it...
    https://www.instagram.com/hull.jess/ (I post pics of my plants there)

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