RE: caterpillar damage

From: Tom Massey (
Date: Wed May 26 1999 - 13:03:47 PDT

Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 16:03:47 -0400
From: Tom Massey <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1851$foo@default>
Subject: RE: caterpillar damage

Just a note, you may already be aware of this. I have had trouble with
caterpillars in the past with Sarrs. I have found that if you carefully
search through the medium (in my case live sphagnum) you will eventually
find the culprit. In most cases they hide during the day and come up out
of the ground at night to feed.

Tom in Fl.

     Hmmmm. Another leaf, another trap, another 3mm hole, another
caterpiller corpse. I'm beginning to think my Nepenthes are poisonous to
caterpillers. One of them has two leaves each with a 2-3mm hole and the
other has a small hole in one of its leaves. Now I've only seen one inch
worm die after eating my Nepenthes, but strangely enough two dead
caterpillers were found near by after the discovery of these new holes. If
only my philodendrons had the same effect. Hmmmm. Makes me wonder.
Every day I find a hole or an entire leaf eaten off of my tropicals and
low and behold, a fat, fat catapiller or two chilling in the shade. I
find a tiny hole in my Nepenthes' leaf and behold a fat dead caterpiller
near by. I don't know how they get in my greenhouse so quickly. Every
day I find two or three of them in my greenhouse. Maybe I should block
all entryways with Nepenthes to kill these pitters before the can reach
the other plants.
     Last year I lost a S, purpurea to something eating its traps. I'd
come home and a trap is gone. The bug was nowhere to be found. A leaf
was lost each day until the plant was completely eaten and I never found
the bug. Now the same thing is happening again. I keep moving the plants
around and I still find new damage every day. I checked under, over, all
around; I even checked the soil. Grasshoppers and crickets are non
exsistant around my house, but there are hordes of caterpillers. I've had
my Sarracenias on a bog island surrounded by water and still new damage
with no bugs in sight. Do they now when I come home or something? Maybe
I should buy an army of Nepenthes and surround my other CPs with them.


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