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Thread: A flytrap that doesn't eat?

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    A flytrap that doesn't eat?

    I bought a VLT about 3 weeks ago. For two weeks I left it outside during the day to get sunlight and catch insects and brought it inside at night to avoid any extreme weather/storms.

    It didn't catch or eat anything for two weeks. So I decided to cut a small piece of earthworm to give it inside two traps. The traps closed, but the following day both traps turned black. I guess worms are not a very good idea.

    Since then I've been keeping it outside 24 hours a day and it is still not catching anything even though there are flies, wasps, bees, gnats, and ants in the area (among other things). I even see insects buzzing around it from time to time, but nothing.

    Yesterday I saw a large black ant. I caught it and placed it in one of the traps. The trap only partially closed. This morning the trap was wide open again and the dead ant was still sitting the trap.

    The plant looks healthy except for the two black traps (which I trimmed off yesterday). I'm just not sure what to do about a plant that won't catch insects or even close when given one.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    slow closing traps could either be a sign of cold temperatures or inadequate lighting...

    also, flytraps need continuous stimulus to completely close and eat prey---this prevents it from trying to digest a water droplet, a stone, or catching an animal too small that isnt worth digesting since its energy output is less than its input.
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    Quote Originally Posted by amphirion View Post
    slow closing traps could either be a sign of cold temperatures or inadequate lighting...

    also, flytraps need continuous stimulus to completely close and eat prey---this prevents it from trying to digest a water droplet, a stone, or catching an animal too small that isnt worth digesting since its energy output is less than its input.
    It's getting a ton of direct sunlight for the last 3 weeks (at least 6 hours daily).

    I understand the stimulation part, but if it doesn't catch anything I'm not what to do other than help (which didn't work).

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Carnivorous plants aren't all that efficient in trapping insects. Read some of the studies on prey capture rates in the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter and other journals.

    If the ant was dead when you put it in the trap the trap won't close completely and start digestion unless you supply further stimulation. Either by touching the trigger hairs several more times with a toothpick etc. or gently squeezing or tapping the trap.

    I don't know where you live but unless there is chance of frost, tornadoes, hurricane force wind and rain or hail I don't see why you couldn't leave them outdoors 24 hours.

    Trap response is a function of temperature, age and health of the traps.
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    A bee was messing around with this pot, yesterday. It set off 4 traps without being caught:



    Finally, it got caught:


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    I think it may have finally caught something very small. One of the traps was closed this morning. I can't see anything inside. So hopefully it is more than a trap being tripped without it actually catching anything. Other than not eating, it looks healthy and is growing.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amphirion View Post
    slow closing traps could either be a sign of cold temperatures or inadequate lighting....
    or old traps..

    as individual traps get older, they lose their ability to close..eventually they just sit there, but they are still important (as long as they are still green) because they will still photosynthesize and provide enegry for the plant..

    considering this is a newly purchased plant, I would guess these are just old traps..or "weak" traps that grew under poor conditions at the store..once the plant has been out in the sun for a month or so, you should start getting new traps that will work normally..just be patient! the plant is probably fine..

    Scot

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    n bicalcarata's Avatar
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    iv had that problem before but a few weeks - monthes later its such a fine plant

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