Re: CPs on TV
Fri, 18 Aug 95 08:56:29 +0200

On, Thu, 17 Aug 1995, Fernando Rivadavia Lopes wrote:

CPs on TV
> On a similar subject, yesterday I saw an article in 'Oecologia'
>mentioning how they've just discovered in Spain a new subspecies of a
>mite which lives on the leaves of Pinguicula longifolia. It's apparently
>small enough to walk between and under the glandular hairs (they
>compared with P.alpina and P.vulgaris which had shorter, more densely
>packed glandular hairs) and feeds on the remains of the prey. They don't
>seem to compete with the plants like the assasin bugs in Australia. The
>pool of digestive enzymes around the prey keeps the mites aways until
>after digestion is complete, thus the mites only eat what the plant
>doesn't. The mites' intestines were analyzed and it was found that they
>also ate fungi and it was suggested that the mites were probably helpful
>to the plants, removing fungi which could be harmful and which would
>easily proliferate on the dead insect carcasses. All life cycle stages of
>the mite were found on the ping's leaves, suggesting that it probably is
>'endemic' to P.longifolia.

There are mites on P.alpina and P.vulgaris also. The mites appeared to be
alive when I looked on them in a microscope. We excluded the mites when we
counted prey-capture for P.alpina, P. villosa and P.vulgaris.
For Pinguicula's with hibernacula (winter resting buds), the mite overwinters
in the hibernaculum.
Maybe you all should check your Pinguiculas and see if you have live mites on
Magnus Thor`n
Plantecology, Department of Ecology, Lund University
Ekologihuset, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden
Tel +46-(0)46-2229311

"Her tentacles swaying seductively in the breeze,
the Venus Kidtrap was again poised and ready"