Pitcher plant prey

Ha! I just found this list of pitcher plant contents we identified as a class and put together as a draft blog post last September (see previous post for context and additional photos):

  • 2 caterpillars, 2 adult lepidopteran heads (crania)
  • 3–4 spp. of ichneumonid
  • 1 teleasine scelionid
  • lots of flies, including dolichopodids, phorids, and cecidomyiids
  • Psyllidae
  • Thripidae
  • Rhaphidophoridae
  • 3 spp. of ants, including some Camponotus
  • Braconidae: Doryctinae
  • 2 spider spp.
  • Tipulidae
  • Opiliones chelicera
  • Tettigoniidae leg

Alas I never completed the draft, but I do know the plant was Sarracenia purpurea (Sarraceniaceae). I also have a browser open somewhere with a TON of tabs with pitcher plant references. That post lost momentum ages ago, so here are the fragments. Seems like a cool undergrad project here! Maybe next fall I can be a bit more robust about how I sample.

wasp wings and heads floating in ethanol

Parts of ichneumonid wasps, recovered from pitcher plant chyme. Photo (CC BY 2.0) by Andy Deans. Click for source

fly larvae, pupae, and adults in ethanol

Midges (Diptera: Chironomidae), recovered (alive!) from pitcher plant chyme. I have the species name somewhere. Photo (CC BY 2.0) by Andy Deans. Click for source

dead, partly decayed wasp

Teleasine scelionid wasp, recovered from pitcher plant. Photo (CC BY 2.0) by Andy Deans. Click for source

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