All Parts Of A Flower And What They Do Lizard Eating Plant

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Lizard Eating Plant

Tropical pitcher plants are the kings of the world’s carnivorous plants. These are the only carnivorous plants that can grow to large sizes and swallow large insects such as large rodents. Tropical pitcher plants are native to the old tropics, found around Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Sumatra. There are more than 150 species of tropical pitcher plants, and each shows a dark side of mother nature, retaliating against small mammals and insects. The largest tropical pitcher plant to date is “Nepenthes king”. Nepenthes is a genus of plants that includes Old World pitcher plants.

Although these plants are beautiful and produce some of the most amazing looking flowers that are completely harmless, the flower that has been produced from all the nutrients it gets from the food it eats is scary. Growing one of these king carnivorous plants in your own yard means creating a death trap for any small critters nearby. In Lakeland Florida, Nepenthes miranda species are known to capture a specific prey more often than any insects and bugs. Although this prey can potentially escape most of the time, YouTube, books and photography have shown that this prey can actually drown and become a plant dinner if caught in a large trap, which happens all too often in Lakeland Florida.

Anole lizards play a major role in any Nepenthes diet in Lakeland Florida. These lizards are everywhere and have become a staple of the unwitting meal plan. It’s really sad to see that anole lizards became part of the protein source; They don’t seem to get a break at all. Not only do cats feast on them, but birds, larger insects, fish and other reptiles like frogs and toads will scoff at these lizards, and now we’re adding plants as their enemies?! With over a billion of these lizards in the state of Florida, there are plenty to go around.

So how did they catch it? This is quite simple and somewhat different from how insects are caught. Let’s first explain the difference. Insects prey on Nepenthes pitcher plants for two main reasons; Because of the color of the plant and the nectar of the plant. Nepenthes pitcher plants produce colorful leaves and traps that attract the attention of hungry bugs and insects. The leaves are like delicious fruit and the nectar the plant leaves around the traps seals the deal and tricks the insects into thinking it’s a free meal. The insect will land on the lips and start sucking the nectar from the plant but they don’t know that the nectar is medicine. Almost like a man drinking beer or vodka, drink too much and it’s gone. The lips of the traps are also slippery, designed so that the prey can get stuck in the cage and they cannot hold themselves on the slippery surface. Once at the bottom, they sink into a pool of digestive juices, and then the plant will begin to break down the soft parts of the insect and absorb its glands.

The capture process is similar to anole lizards; Lizards are attracted to the smell of the sweet nectar and lick it from their lips but this does not deal as quickly as insects. In the state of Florida, it can be very hot during the summer months and it is not always easy for lizards to find drinking water. It’s tempting to climb inside the pitchers and push your luck and drink the digestive juices; After all, drinking from a pool of drowned and digested insects is better than not drinking at all. Some lizards hide pitchers inside plants from other predators or find insects still alive in pitcher traps and attempt to capture and eat them. The problem with this is that the lizard is likely to fall into the liquid and if it is lucky it can swim and climb out but if it can’t get out and gets exhausted from its failed attempts to escape. Drowning and becoming dinner. This happens all too often for pitcher plant growers in Florida. Some pitchers may catch more lizards than they can digest, resulting in trap rot.

It can take about 3 weeks to fully digest an insect meal while anole lizards can take 2-3 months before leaving nothing but lizard bones at the bottom of a pitcher plant trap. A pitcher plant that eats nothing but reptiles can grow into a very large plant and can grow some very large traps (depending on the species) if the plant gets the moisture, heat, and light it needs.

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