Rabbit eaters & toad suckers

Ch'Ien Ch'Ien Lee (cclee@cats.ucsc.edu)
Thu, 18 May 1995 12:01:13 -0700 (PDT)

Hello all,

I was skimming through our library's copy of 'The Carnivorous Plants'
(Juniper, et.al., 1989) the other day and and a few unusual quotes caught
my attention. The first (page ix) read:

"[The diet of carnivorous plants] may include MOLLUSCA,...,
earthworms, spiders and woodlice in the pitchers of Nepenthes
and Sarracenia, Paramecium, tadpoles and small fish in Utricularia
and even, anecdotally, small rabbits in Byblis and Drosera

Small rabbits!? Now I'm the kind of person that would love to see a
goat-eating butterwort but somehow I just can't imagine a delicate Byblis
plant taking out a rabbit. Are they referring to a dead rabbit or a
laboratory experiment?

Another, more mundane quote (page 66) read:

[In reference to Utricularia]
"The traps range in size from 0.2 to 6 mm (Taylor, 1976). A
new species from Australia develops even larger traps. In
addition to tiny traps and ordinary traps, this new species
develops giant traps as large as 10 mm (Taylor, P., pers. comm.,
1986). These traps are effective in capturing prey and therefore
seem most suitable for experimental work concerning trapping
and digestion mechanisms."

This must be the species I've heard references for as a biological
control for cane toads. Does anyone know if it has been described yet?


Ch'ien Lee