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Plant Signal Behav. 2012 Aug;7(8):957-60. doi: 10.4161/psb.20912. Epub 2012 Jul 27.

The use of light in prey capture by the tropical pitcher plant Nepenthes aristolochioides.

Author information

1
School of Environment and Sustainability, Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC Canada. jonathan.moran@royalroads.ca

Abstract

Nepenthes pitcher plants deploy tube-shaped pitchers to catch invertebrate prey; those of Nepenthes aristolochioides possess an unusual translucent dome. The hypothesis was tested that N. aristolochioides pitchers operate as light traps, by quantifying prey capture under three shade treatments. Flies are red-blind, with visual sensitivity maxima in the UV, blue, and green wavebands. Red celluloid filters were used to reduce the transmission of these wavebands into the interior of the pitchers. Those that were shaded at the rear showed a 3-fold reduction in Drosophila caught, relative to either unshaded control pitchers, or pitchers that were shaded at the front. Thus, light transmitted through the translucent dome is a fundamental component of N. aristolochioides' trapping mechanism.

PMID:
22836498
PMCID:
PMC3474694
DOI:
10.4161/psb.20912
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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