My first meeting with N. bicalcarata was a grand moment of my journey in Borneo but I must confess I was a bit disappointed by the small size of the pitchers (15- 20 cm). To me N. bicalcarata is supposed to be a very impressive species. When I was in Mulu (to observe N. campanulata), I was told that I could see a spectacular population of the fanged pitcher plant. My guide told that the plants were impressive. And they were. The picthers were 25-30 cm long, sometimes a bit more. This was one of the highlights of my sarawakian journey.
I could never put this flower scape in my lowland tank without bending it.
Last Edit: May 23, 2009 0:09:36 GMT -10 by sockhom
"When I am king you will be first against the wall..."
Post by rainforest on May 27, 2009 9:56:38 GMT -10
Francois, have you noticed what N. bicalcarata fed on? Most authors say ants, but I am not sure that these feed exclusively on ants. A plant with this size has to be "big" for some reason. N. ampullaria, gracilis, etc. are also found near this species but are smaller, do they disproportionately feed on larger insects?Not really. N. bicalcarata may be a left over species from a time when a particular species of ants (or may still be present) might have been three to four inches long (prehistoric pic nic invaders). The association of ants to this species is not too unfamiliar. A smaller symbiotic species lives in its tendril core and feeds on prey inside their pitchers. N. bical is an interesting species due to its fanged appearance. We know that nectar forms and drips over its mouth opening and perhaps drag a few prey to their doom. Ants which live in the tendril are found mainly in upper pitchers which for the most part are found much higher above the ground level. All these clues must be for a particular reason. What other pests are found above? Flying ants? termites? grasshoppers? ??
Post by rsivertsen on May 27, 2009 10:13:00 GMT -10
Ants may be small, but when there are thousands of them around, constantly, even large pitchers can actually fill up with dead ants! I've seen them outside where I keep a few Nepenthes at ground level where they get early morning sunlight, and they're constantly getting some ants. Some actually developed ulcers from having filled up on too many ants!
N. bicals don't do very well for me outside, as it's too dry for the most part, but when I have put them out, I noticed that the ants would climb around the peristome, and the lid, and some would fall in attempting to climb down those two fangs. During the early morning hours, those fangs were dripping wet with condensation of early morning dew, dripping into the pitchers, perhaps an evolutionary adaptation to store water, but also an effective means of catching ants as well.
I suppose one could grow them in a fish tank; you just need to get one big enough, that's all. Perhaps like the ones used in public aquariums for swimming sharks and manta rays. ;D - Rich
I'm not suffering from insanity! I'm rather enjoying it, actually!