ants and nepenthes

Steven Klitzing (
Wed, 13 Sep 1995 13:54:37 -0700

Hi all:

I had an amusing incident when ants invaded my greenhouse

A group of ants managed to get to a Nepenthes Anamensis
plant. They crawled out onto one tendril with the intent
of raiding the largest pitcher of its precious prize of
rotting tubifex worm protein.

The ants crawled up to the lip of the pitcher, and, one
by one, investigated a way to get in and get the tubifex.
One by one, they slipped on the pitcher lip and fell
in to their doom. After several ants had expired this
way, the remaining group crawled down the pitcher on the
outside and met in a huddle, brushing antenna together.
I surmise they were saying something like "Jesus! We
lost Bud, and Charlie, and Mike! How do we get in there
without dying?" I watched for a little longer, and they
remained in a huddle communicating. They had no solution
to the problem. They had never encountered a plant like
this. Before they did something else, I plucked them
off the plant and dumped them on a D. Capensis. I now
understand that ants are not exactly rocket scientists.

They are pretty pesky, so I set out ant cannister bait
to protect my orchids from invasion.