Re: Ant symbiosis and CP
Sat, 18 Mar 1995 22:16:36 -0500

There is at least one symbiotic relationship between ants and CP,
specifically Nepenthes bicalcarata. There is a species of ant that drills a
hole in the tendril near where it attached to the pitcher. The tendril in this
area is hollow and expanded. I do not have a clue as to the feeding habits
of the ant but likely it is not attracted to the plants sugar lure or it
would be a short lived relationship. Whether the entire plant is colonized by
a single colony or several colonies live in seperate pitchers I cannot say.
Also the upper pitchers, though small also posess this expanded tendril and
may be used by the ants as well. What the Nepenthes gains from this
relationship is unclear.

Of course many insects, invertebrates and some vertebrates live and breed in
the pitchers of many pitcher type plants.