Yesterday I was looking for a garden photo and while I didn't find that photo I did find these photos of a carnivorous pitcher plant from two years ago. I think I may have been waiting for a slowdown in garden blogging to share the pictures of the carnivorous pitcher plant and never got around to sharing them.
The photos were taken over a course of a few days and show insects being lured and trapped inside separate pitchers of the carnivorous plant. Lets take a short tour of the carnivorous plant and see the insects that fell prey to it.
First we have the opening of the pitcher plant. Notice the hairs growing around the opening to keep trapped insects inside. You can just spot our first insect victim laying in the bottom of the pitcher in this photo.
When I focused on the inside of the pitcher the first victim came into focus. It is a fly. It looks like the pitfall trap is dry and the fly didn't drown in the phytotelmata, perhaps it died of exhaustion. Without the water inside the pitcher plant we can see how smooth the inside is, this keeps insects from being able to climb out once they've been lured inside the carnivorous plant.
The cavity of this pitcher is filled with liquid and we can see at least three victims, two flies and an ant that have drowned inside. There may be a third insect in there too, if you look below the ant you'll see an extra pair of wings, that has been being digested by the carnivorous plant for a while.
The final photo shows a yellow jacket that made its way inside and like the others fell victim to our pitcher plant and became a meal. The dark spots floating in the liquid are two separate flies that also made it in but never got out. I remember being amazed that these two flies about the size of the tip of a pencil couldn't get past the trap hairs shown above.
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