Re: S. leucophylla, Catopsis b., et al.

Date: Tue May 25 1999 - 13:16:59 PDT

Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 16:16:59 EDT
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1828$foo@default>
Subject: Re: S. leucophylla, Catopsis b., et al.

In a message dated 99-05-24 19:41:12 EDT, you write:

<< I think it's Schnell's book, "CP of the USA and Canada," where it's
 mentioned regarding S. leucophylla that the white tops seem to light up
 somewhat with the moonlight and they catch a lot of moths in their
 natural habitat. That seems pretty similar to bioluminescense, without
 the plant actually producing it's own light. I can't imagine what else
 moths would be attracted to in the absence of electric lights.
 John Green
 Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear John,

     This is a very good point, and the fall traps of S. leucophylla seem to
be timed with the emergence of moths and are bigger and whiter than the
spring traps. They will fill with moths in one or two nights after opening,
whereas the spring pitchers may take weeks to fill.

     I believe this was thought to be the trapping mechanism of Catopsis
berteroniana as well which has highly reflective white wax surrounding its
tank. Despite its now non-carnivorous status, I have found drowned flying
insects in them from time to time.

     Has anyone done field studies to see if N. burbidgea, certain forms of
N. macfarlanei or N. muluensis (all with greater or lesser amounts of white
coloration) are adept at catching moths?


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