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

From: Dave Evans (T442119@RUTADMIN.RUTGERS.EDU)
Date: Tue May 25 1999 - 22:45:00 PDT

Date:    Wed, 26 May 99 01:45 EDT
From: Dave Evans                           <T442119@RUTADMIN.RUTGERS.EDU>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1839$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Re: S. leucophylla, Catopsis b., et al.

Cliff, Tom M and List,

> 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.

   I as far as I can tell, Jan hasn't placed these odd-ball plants
in the "non-carnivorous" status. They are sub-carnivores. Meaning
while they seem to catch more insects and they might benefit more
from what they 'catch' than their relatives, they still can't react
to and digest what they do catch. What can place in this catagory
is that that do seem to have ablility to attract bugs for the
purpose of getting some nutrients from them. Basically all plants
can get nutrients from rotting animals, especially airplants--what
with all those folds in their leaves. But they also get nutrients
from dust they collect too. Perhaps a couple of these species are
starting to move away from collecting dust to collecting bugs, but
they simply aren't as carnivous as say _Drosera_ or _Sarracenia_.
In a couple million years, if we don't make them extinct in the
meantime, perhaps they will develop into full blown CP's.
   Someone was asking about evolution of CP's, what can we tell:
Are they becoming more carnivous or less? Well, from taking a
look _Drosera_ I'd have to say they are fairly static as far as
this particular trait goes. They are all just about the same
as far as eating bugs, but they sure have evolved a lot of other
traits and ablilities since becoming Drosera. I guess in this
case (of Drosera, anyway) it's a winning trait and they are
keeping it. Same goes for Sarracenaea (sp?), the family of
American pitcher plants. It's been millions and millions of years
since they evolved into the current genus (is that plural?) that
exist and they are all still catching and eating bugs.
   And we ought to be able to tell if they have close relatives
that aren't CP's anymore by looking at their flowers. I have
never heard of any such thing. Some species are only carnivorous
for part of the year, but that's not quite the same thing.

Dave Evans

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Jan 02 2001 - 17:31:58 PST