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Thread: Details on the bug "narcotic" in neps?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Columbus, OH
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    An ant got into my Judith Finn, and it was textbook--ran up the runway, directed by the wings to the nectar at the peristome, ate this frenziedly until it decided to go inside for even more and promptly disappeared.

    Well, not quite--it climbed back up, stuck its head out, waved its antennae around, chewed a little more nectar, and jumped back in! It seemed to decide that it liked it better in the pitcher. A sobering lesson for us all. Then again, if you gotta go, I suppose there are worse ways!

    The ant has been good for the plant, but my question is about the bug-drug in the nectar. Is there really one or not? If so, what is it called and what sort of compound is it?

    Given the way the trap worked, I don't see how an ant ever escapes--this one seemed to embrace its fate wholeheartedly. This stuff might have commercial applications for ant-traps.

    For the record, I am not interested in it for personal experimentation--I've been told by many people that I do not need drugs, as I am already "that way." Just look at how the light sparkles on my sundews!

    I'd rather have a butterwort in front of me than a...wait, ummm...I'll come up with something...

  2. #2
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Sep 2001
    Alexandria Bay, NY Z-5a
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    Well my friend that's how Nepenthes got thier names, from the drug narcotic they produce. It works just like bug alcohal. They drink it get woozy and plunk into the digestive pool they go. I think the compound is sorta like the enzymes of the digestive bath, the palnt secretes them but I am not sure what they are made from. Tony, care to continue?

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