Here's a related video from AntsCanada showing what happened when he introduced pitcher plants to a terrarium teeming with yellow ants. He thought it would help thin the population, but the colony had other ideas...An insect-eating pitcher plant teams up with ants to prevent mosquito larvae from stealing its nutrients, according to research published May 22 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Mathias Scharmann and colleagues from the University of Cambridge and the University Brunei Darussalam.The unusual relationship between insect-eating pitcher plants and ants that live exclusively on them has long puzzled scientists. The Camponotus schmitzi ants live only on one species of Bornean pitcher plants (Nepenthes bicalcarata), where they walk across slippery pitcher traps, swim and dive in the plant's digestive fluids and consume nectar and prey that fall into the trap. Though the benefits to the ants are obvious, it has been harder to tell what exactly the plants gain. However, plants that harbor the insects grow larger than those that do not, suggesting a mutualistic relationship exists between the two.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
The Symbiotic Relationship Between Ants And Carnivorous Pitcher Plants
ants that live on the Bornean pitcher plant: