FWS: She Who is Their Host

A Short for Nepenthes, a Carnivorous Plant of Borneo

439px-Bicalcarata-upperpitcherThe lone spotted mother flew drunk and heavy several meters to lay her babies down. Burdens who could eventually be called her children in only a few days time.  She found a home for them in the mouth of a fanged pitcher plant known not to exhibit carnivorous longings and staunch acidic fluids. Away she flew to her remaining moments, her flight pattern bouncy as the other critters only lit by certain twilight and phases of the rising moon.  Maybe she thought her little ones would act as parasitic creatures, awakening to feed on the visitors of their host. Maybe she thought them to have as much time as she did to meet a swarm and find a place to lay their progeny. But they never did.

On one monitoring occasion, he, an ant, noticed them bobbing in the mouth of the flower. Gradually skidding across the waters he grabbed the larvae with his legs. He swam backward pulling them with him and out of the plant where they died. The ant colonizers fed like this daily. In return for their certain meals with drinks of nectar, the ants gave their dead, feces, and urine to sustain she who is Nepenthes Bicalcarata. She will never need to become carnivorous, she will never need to lose energy becoming elastic like, and she will never need to produce acidic fluids for her meals will be like the meals of the ants who mutually support her; certain, timely, and appreciated.

Ants have proven themselves to maintain mutual relationships with various trees and plant species. Where ever I sit at the root of a tree here in Sabah plenty come to my feet and march up and down the trunk of the tree. It’s not necessarily a sweet ending when you find that this action from the ants only allow insects to easily slip into the mouth of its host pitcher plant, but the ants wipe the mouth of their host and spring to action hunting any that would harm her by a takeover.


Author: Sakari Sun

Sakari of all Trades

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