Monday, January 11, 2010

128|365 Nepenthes Mirabilis ~ Random

Theme: Random

This was one of those things were as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it. This unique little dude-et eats bugs! Yes, the name is Nepenthes Mirabilis or as it is more commonly know: Swamp Pitcher.

She evolved to survive in the nutrient/nitorgin deficient soil of bogs by trapping small bugs, of which there were plenty, and then digesting them.

The bugs are attracted to her sticky nectar around the inside edge of each water filled vestibule. The sweet syrupy nectar also acts as an intoxicant. The bug starts to get a buzz on and gets a little more greedy for the good stuff in the hard to reach places. Unbeknownst to the drunkard, there is a super slick waxy coating on the lip on which it is so precariously perched, the slightest stumble and the bug plunges down into the watery cavern.

Now at this point, the bug my breath a small sigh of relief as it is still alive, it's fall broken by the water. However, as it struggles to free itself it acutely alerts the plant that a small snack is waiting. She then secrets digestive acids into the trap which kills the bug to ensure no escape and then aid in digesting it over time. Finally, the nutrients of the decaying carcass are absorbed.

Cool eh! I fed her a few fruit flies I found hopping around my compost and a beetle from outside. I've read a few bugs every couple of weeks is all she needs.

--- Strobist ---
1 Vivitar 285 HV @ 1/4 at about 4 o'clock used as a fill light

--- Critiques Welcome ---
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