Re: feeding CPs

Oliver T Massey CFS (
Thu, 19 May 1994 10:21:29 -0400

>>with 10 years
as a member of the UK society and knowing many UK members, feeding the
plants is not common after the first flush of youthful enthusiasm.

Yes, but us crazy, zany colonists... :)...

A few comments; There are a few species of nectar loving ants whose behavior
always intrigued me with S. purpurea. I observed these ants with not only an
affinity but a susceptability to purps' nectar. If these ants were placed on
the pitcher they would begin to greedily eat the nectar, slow traversing the
flared lid without ever lifting their mandibles from the surface. This
behavior continued, even as their fine motor behavior became increasingly more
erratic. After a few minutes, with the ant sometimes trembling, they would
fall into the pitcher mouth. Sometimes they would simply curl up and roll in,
and almost without exception, they did not struggle once they hit the water in
the pitcher, but simply remain curled and sank to the bottom.

That experience kept me looking for black ants with a handy pair of tweezers
for several months.

Here in Fl. with many of my plants outside, I don't bother to feed them, and
often find Nepenthes pitchers filled with not only your typical wasps and ants,
but also filled with the shells of small garden snails. It seems to me someone
has also reported doing just the opposite, plugging the mouth of their Sarr.'s
so the pitchers would last longer.

Tom in FL