These spiders feed their leftovers to carnivorous plants
Some carnivorous pitcher plants found in Southeast Asia harbor an eight-legged sidekick, to the benefit of both.
Several types of spiders make their homes within carnivorous pitcher plants found in Southeast Asia, stealing prey that wonder inside. Surprisingly, new research shows, this thievery benefits both partners.
“We found that pitchers containing crab spiders caught significantly greater amounts of certain prey types, especially large flying ones,” says Weng Ngai Lam, a post-doctoral ecology researcher at the National University of Singapore and one of the coauthors of a pair of recent studies.
Aside from the normal diet of water and sunlight, these carnivorous plants supplement their diet by attracting insects to the nectar on the outer lips of the pitcher using chemical and visual cues. These surfaces can become slippery, particularly when it’s raining, sending bugs tumbling into