My carnivorous plants.

basin79

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A very unlucky fly.




I actually forgot to get a scale pic with my camera so grabbed one with my phone later. The fly hadn't given up although I do very much doubt it'll survive. Matchstick for scale.




Really are beautiful plants.


 

Ferrachi

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A very unlucky fly.




I actually forgot to get a scale pic with my camera so grabbed one with my phone later. The fly hadn't given up although I do very much doubt it'll survive. Matchstick for scale.




Really are beautiful plants.


I've never actually seen one of these in action... like what happens when a fly gets stuck there ?
 

basin79

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I've never actually seen one of these in action... like what happens when a fly gets stuck there ?
Well you can see the little arms (don't know the scientific terms) start moving in. For small prey that's enough. For larger prey the whole leaf will slowly fold up so that more and more of the sticky arms come into contact.
 

Ferrachi

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So that's what it looks like when they start eating them
 

basin79

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So that's what it looks like when they start eating them
I'm surprised the leaf hasn't curled up. For larger prey the little arms move in and then the leaf will fold so more of the sticky blobs make contact.

Many hands make light work.

 
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Ferrachi

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I've just found out its named after the legend that is Sir David Attenborough. Nepenthes attenboroughii.
That's pretty cool that it's named after Sir David Attenborough... the guy is a legend with wild life documentaries
 

schmiggle

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There's several species large enough to eat tree shrews (I guess rats too, but they don't tend to catch those). In some cases it's just a standard misadventure for the shrew, but there are several species (e.g. N. rajah, N. lowii) that attract tree shrews to eat their poop. The lid is large and has nectar on it so the shrew will lick it, and the entrance is almost exactly of a size that it's a good toilet shape for a shrew. Occasionally the shrews fall in and die, but usually they just leave after they're done. This isn't N. Attenboroughii's strategy--the lid is too small, and the pitcher shape is wrong--so any time it catches a shrew is purely accidental. I don't think it catches them often.

There's also a common lowland species (N. ampullaria) that specializes on catching leaf litter.

Edit: I actually take that back about N. attenboroughii. Having had a second look at the pitchers, they might we'll have evolved to be shrew toilets.
 

basin79

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There's several species large enough to eat tree shrews (I guess rats too, but they don't tend to catch those). In some cases it's just a standard misadventure for the shrew, but there are several species (e.g. N. rajah, N. lowii) that attract tree shrews to eat their poop. The lid is large and has nectar on it so the shrew will lick it, and the entrance is almost exactly of a size that it's a good toilet shape for a shrew. Occasionally the shrews fall in and die, but usually they just leave after they're done. This isn't N. Attenboroughii's strategy--the lid is too small, and the pitcher shape is wrong--so any time it catches a shrew is purely accidental. I don't think it catches them often.

There's also a common lowland species (N. ampullaria) that specializes on catching leaf litter.

Edit: I actually take that back about N. attenboroughii. Having had a second look at the pitchers, they might we'll have evolved to be shrew toilets.
Surely attenboroughii are too massive to have evolved to feed on shrew crap? Their pitchers are huge and hold pints of digestive juices. Seem pretty much set up for large prey.
 

schmiggle

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Surely attenboroughii are too massive to have evolved to feed on shrew crap? Their pitchers are huge and hold pints of digestive juices. Seem pretty much set up for large prey.
Naw, the shrew crap syndrome is all big pitchers. Rajah has pitchers much bigger than Attenboroughii, and there's pretty much no debate on that one being a shrew toilet. It's more about the shape of the lid and the size of the opening. A pitcher has to be bigger to accommodate a shrew sitting on it, and shrew crap has more nitrogen by weight than tissue anyway, so it's also a better fertilizer in some respects.

Rajah size:


Shrew feeding--clearly a good match:


Attenboroughii size:

Rajah is known to occasionally catch shrews, but presumably they aren't careful and fall in. Manure is a much more reliable food source than occasional big animals. IMO, the bigger reason to think that that's not what attenboroughii is doing is because it has a round peristome, whereas rajah, lowii, macrophylla and epiphippiata have oblong ones. A good test might be to see whether attenboroughii's lid reflects in the same spectrum as those other four species, because they appear bright to shrews but not to humans and it's thought to be a characteristic attracting them to lick the lid.
 

basin79

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From afar or above they simply look like red dots on a leaf.





But get in close and look from from another angle and you'll see they're not.
 
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