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Thread: does the vft have a sense of taste?

  1. #1
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    U must remember me a while ago talking about ambitious terraria, lot of vft's. Well finally the things have materialized. I remember showing few pics of my walmart vft.

    Now...this is my ikkea mini greenhouse and my VFT (dente). i am awaiting 4 plants from kheens carnivorous store whose owner rick is an amazing guy. I recommend him to any canadians.

    so enough talk here are some pics.













    sorry for blurriness. I dont know how ot take closeups.

    For a couple of weeks the VFT seemed stressed after getting it from walmart. Suddenly yest, I noticed that the green smaller than the original traps started becoming responsive to the water and closed.

    I immediately caught a fly, and fed it to a trap THAT wasn;t responsive, i.e., the edges became black but everything else was green. I forceably closed the trap shut. Now this thing stays shut.

    For the other two green ones that were smaller and looked healthy...One of them, I fed a wood lice, next morning, the trap was open and the woodlice was out of it....Please note that the trap itself closed when I dropped the dead wood lice in this one.

    afterwards I thought maybe it doesn't eat woodice, and inally caught another fly that was attached to the sticky thingys of another plant. I fed the VFT this...however, today morning, the trap is again opening slightly. How come they do not stay closed....do u not accept this food?? they just keep opening...yet they are triggered once I use a thin plant stick to trigger the trap around that inside bug.

    does this happen to anyone. VFT's don't stay shut...its hard to get live flies.

    please help...I want to iron this thing out. Find out what the prob is before my new plants come from kheens. I bought a B-52 VFT, one typical and thanks to generous rick, a complimentary drosera.

    cheers,

    vraev

  2. #2

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    VFT's like live insects. Dead ones don't trigger the hairs. If you feed the VFT with a dead insect, you have to "tickle" the trigger hairs to get it to close. Once closed, you have to tickle the hairs some more with a toothpick to make the trap close all the way. Also, I don't know how big a wood lice is, but I do know that insects that are too small won't trigger the trap to close. Try feeding a nice live fly to a nice new just opened trap and see what happens.
    Hi. My name is Ron, and I am a nepaholic.

  3. #3
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    darn....... ...how to get live flies....them and their stupid..lol! compound eyes....they are too fast.

    can I feed it an ant they are small though. Probably the size of a trap's length.but they don;t have too much meat IMO.

  4. #4
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Don't feed it at all. If you browse through the posts in this part of the forum, you'll find a lot of "Why won't my traps eat x-y-z?" type questions, and the answer is almost always, "Because you're feeding it and not letting it trap things naturally." Unless you grow your plant in a hermetically sealed environment, it's highly unlikely that bugs won't find it. When your plant is ready, it will trap said bugs on its own. If you try to feed it before the plant is ready, the likely result will be untrapped bugs or dead leaves. Feeding your flytrap is purely for your entertainment - VFTs grow fine in laboratory conditions where they don't recieve any bugs at all.
    That said, don't worry if your plant isn't doing a good job of trapping just yet. For a grocery-store plant like yours, I wouldn't be surprised if it took a month or two in good conditions to get trapping. And, as winter approaches and it gets colder, the plant will be less likely to trap things successfully as a result of it's slowing metabolism. If you still feel compelled to feed it now, then yes, ants would be a good choice - they're easy to catch live and do a good job of darting around the trap enough to properly spring it. Make sure to choose small ants (I think that the guideline is that prey items should be roughly 2/3 the length of trap in question) as large bugs prevent the trap from sealing properly and often result in the death (of the trap, not the whole plant.) I've heard that some ants have a digestive acid or something of that sort which can kill the trap, but I haven't observed this in my plants. It may be that only large ants have enough of whatever the bad stuff is to do damage. Don't worry if traps die after feeding - most traps only live long enough to make a few catches anyways. They will be replaced.
    Happy growing,
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    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
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    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    thanx for that info.

    can't wait to get my new VFT's. I guess I can keep the top of the greenhouse open to see if insects come to find their doom. do vft's eat lady bugs at uni in the initial month there are tons of them. that will probably be the most accessable insect. However...I hope it remains blossomed as good traps for a good while. Rick at Keehns carnivores is sending me a fresh off TC typical Vft which he said would probably not require dormancy. But you know what, If i am prepared to do it for 3 plants,, why not do it for one more .

    In either case lets see how it goes. In the coming few days I will post up more pics and updates.

    BTW....I did not come across much info regarding the pots used. Can I use a porcelain pot? a clay pot or is glasss the best.

    cheers,

    vraev

  6. #6
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    If you want to feed it live flies, try this method. Catch a fly in a small plastic container. I use a clear plastic 8oz cup and an index card to cover the top. Once you have the fly in the cup, place it in the freezer for 2 to 3 minutes. Check on the fly. If it's still moveing around, let it freeze for another minute. You want to freeze it just long enough that it quits moving but not long enough to kill it. When it quits moving, stick it in an open trap and let it warm up. It will start moving as it warms up and trigger the trap. If it doesn't start moving after a couple minutes feed it to your sundew or a pitcher plant. Once you figure out how long it takes to knock out the fly, just set the timer on your microwave to beep at the end of that length of time. Also, with glass containers it takes more time for the fly to freeze with plastic containers.

    Your VFT wil try to eat anything that triggers the trap to close.
    ---Steve Allinger---

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