Re: VFTs and volunteer plants

Robert Allen (Robert.Allen@Eng.Sun.COM)
Thu, 19 May 1994 13:07:49 -0700

>>No, you understood Barry, dead bugs may curl up and roll in, but I was
>>speaking of otherwise healthy ants that seemed to get so intoxicated
>>from the nectar that they couldn't walk straight. In my experience
>>the Sarr.'s are pretty efficient bug catchers. To me the thing unique
>>about the purp. is that while other tall Sarr.'s catch flying insects
>>which are trapped after falling in because 1) the pitcher is too
>>narrow to allow them to fly and 2) the walls won't allow them to
>>climb, the purp seems to have something particularly intoxicating to
>>some ants. I know other CP nectar seems to do this, but I have never
>>seen it so dramatically demonstrated as in the S.purp.

This reminds me of the Discovery Channel show I saw a while ago: World of Dung.

It showed ants cultivating aphids. The aphids plug into the plant and start
sucking juice out, and as a by product they produce nectar that is harvested
by the ants ("Hey Garth, watch nectar fly out of my butt!") Maybe ants are
the nectarholics of the bug world and they infest our CP with aphids so they
can get their fix w/out being killed by the plant. I wonder what the next
evolutionary stage is, little symbiotic bugs that kill aphids but leave the
ants for the plants?