Siggi_Hartmeyer

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    Weil am Rhein - Germany
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    Our CP collection and private CP-video production

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  1. Welcome to our carnivorous plant speed contest! Four carnivorous genera qualified for our speed contest and they all give their best. Is Aldrovanda able to keep up even against the water resistance? How well does the famous Venus flytrap? Does the sundew that is usually regarded quite sedate have a chance at all in this competition? And what's the story with the southern bladderwort? Examined in detail with the help of time lapse as well as slow motion shots. English subtitles provided, enjoy! Special thanks go to Dr. Simon Poppinga and his team of the Plant Biomechanics Group of the University Freiburg as well as to Dr. Jan Schlauer for his kind support.
  2. Sarracenia leucophylla: Attention Bee Trap (English subtitles) With its shiningly white patterned leaves Sarracenia leucophylla is certainly one of the most distinctive pitcher plants. We observed the impact of this large carnivore's attractivity to insects in the surroundings quite coincidentally in summer 2019. Suddenly, a whole ant colony had vanished that we observed for weeks in the frame of experiments with Venus flytraps. Looking for the reason, we did not only find the missing ants. Thereby, we unfortunately also found many dead honey bees. We kept an eye on this during the season, which confirmed that the white patterned leaves of Sarracenia leucophylla capture predominantly honey bees - at least with us. With several plants some hundreds of them may be captured during a season, about what no beekeepers around will be happy. Therefore, we decided to close the pitchers with cotton-wool plugs which does no harm except of the prey loss. Instead of bees they get now a little fertilizer, which also works. However, at the natural environment also Sarracenia leucophylla has its enemies like the moth Exyra, which skillfull and savely uses the pitcher traps for its own peculiar purposes ...
  3. In literature, Byblis is usually described as a passive flypaper. But new examinations (2018/19) show that the genus possess active moving capture hairs. A highlight for CP-enthusiasts! In 2018, first videos by Dr. Gregory Allan (GB) on Facebook showed an active motion of Byblis trichomes. However, the topic literature describes the carnivorous genus as immobile. To review that behavior, we made own time lapse shots with a microscope that turned out to be surprisingly even for ourselves. They confirm clearly that the unicellular trichome stalks show an active motion down to the leaf surface after being touched by prey. Therefore, we looked up again the work of some CP pioneers like Charles Darwin (1875) or C.A. Fenner (1904), and included their findings and assumptions on Byblis complemented with excerpts from Dr. Gregory Allan's first shots (with his kind permission). In addition, we examined the related Lindernia cleistandra (all Lamiales) that likewise occurs in tropical Australia and that is like Byblis densly covered with glandular trichomes. However, its state regarding carnivory is yet unclear. We complemented the time lapse shots with an enzyme test, which we used even in 2010 to detect digestive enzymes in Byblis filifolia. Well, just view this film and you will know more about these interesting plants. We would like to express our thanks to Dr. Gregory Allan, Dr. Jan Schlauer as well as Holger und Anja Hennern for their kind support during the making of this film. Enjoy:
  4. Nepenthes truncata and N. veitchii capture five house mice, but no shrew. This winter, we had a whole shrew family (Soricidae species) in our greenhouse. These predators are not interested in Nepenthes nectar; therefore, none of them became captured. If house mice come for a visit, things look very different. Here is our film on the overall five house mice (Mus musculus), meanwhile captured by Nepenthes inside our greenhouse.
  5. The catapults of the sundew Drosera glanduligera fling passing prey animals in a sensational manner onto the sticky trapping leaves. Already in 2012, we measured and published this enormous - 75 ms - speed for a capture event, in the labs of the Plant Biomechanics Group of the University Freiburg (Germany). In this film, we show again by measurements with Dr. Simon Poppinga at the labs of the bionics specialists in Freiburg, what an amazing force these catapults possess. A single catapult has an average weight of 0.15 mg. The rapidly flung fruit flies in our former experiments weigh 1.74 mg in average, which is about 12 times as much as one catapult. This result is quite amazing, but how efficient are these hydraulic powered tentacles really? Enjoy!
  6. Vegetarian Carnivores. The first video in our new series "Siggi's CP Info" Is it possible to grow your carnivorous plants with vegetarian diet? Our first film from the new “Siggi’s CP Info” series provides the answer. Carnivorous plants predominantly capture and digest arthropods like insects, spiders or little crustaceans. Some of the largest tropical pitcher plants are even known to eat real meat, mostly small vertebrates like mice or reptiles. But what happens if you feed vegetarian food to the carnivores? Even Charles Darwin pointed out that in times of high pollen abundance the sticky traps of sundews and butterworts accumulate large amounts of pollen. Does that mean carnivorous plants are also happy with vegetarian food? Here are the results of a survey on Facebook and YouTube prior to this upload: Is it possible to feed carnivorous plants with vegetarian food? YES: 52% - NO: 36% - ONLY TEMPORARY: 12%
  7. Never fear! You do not need a chemistry book to understand this film. Showing a bunch of beautiful sundew species and hybrids, we explain really briefly and clear why particular chemical ingredients of the sundews are not only interesting as cough medicine for homeopathy, but also as traits for taxonomy, in a manner as comprehensible for laypersons as possible. The featured chemical analysis (TLC) is helpful for the description of novel species and gains an additional dimension by the fact that most true species produce only one naphthoquinone or none, while hybrids show the chemistry of both parents combined. That means, if the parents produce different quinones, the hybrid shows both of them and both parents as well as the hybrid can be distinguished chemically that way.
  8. Early on Boxing Day, we experienced the 2004 Tsunami at Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka. The day before, we had finished a very successful shooting for our film on Borneo Exotics, Robert Cantley’s famous special nursery for tropical pitcher plants. Only in the evening, we had returned from the highlands. After breakfast, it turned out to be a big stroke of luck that our hotel, recommended by Rob, was situated on a rock, several meters above sea level. Only for that reason nobody became injured there. Filmed from the balcony of our hotel room, our documentary shows with original comments how we experienced that force of nature. Yesterday, 2019-12-26, exactly 15 years passed by; therefore, Irmgard and I decided to show our shots also on our YouTube-channel. For those, interested in our videos on Borneo Exotics, we provided this playlist:
  9. Surprise: The Queensland sundews have been screened for their naphthoquinones before (Culham & Gornall 1994) but the chemical diversity within the group has prompted our (Jan Schlauer, Irmgard and me) investigation of the new hybrid ("D. x Andomeda") and, subsequently, a re-evaluation of the published data and comparison of their micro-morphology. Our study found that D. adelae and D. schizandra are both in regard of their chemistry as well as their indumentum clearly closer related than to D. prolifera, which as the only one in the group possesses still remnants of snap-tentacles. Enjoy Chemistry and surface micromorphology of the Queensland sundews (Drosera section Prolifera) . September CPN 48/3: 111-116 (click on title). Photo shows the examined plants:
  10. Dionaea Traps Selectively Allow Small Animals to Escape. Our prey capture experiments show that Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) selectively allow small animals to escape by a system of interlocking features that complement each other very efficiently. We documented ants of the species Lasius neglectus (length 3.5 mm) running continuously through open traps of Dionaea, established since more than 20 years outdoors in our garden. To achieve statistical relevant results, we did not only count, identify and measure captured prey. Other than in former publications, we counted also the escaped ants (15,000 after 28 days) to be able to calculate the risk for small ants visiting active traps. Surprisingly, their risk to get captured is 2.5 times lower (0.04%) than the risk of mortality by medical malpractice for a human in a German hospital (0.1%). None of the four single features of the interlocking "escape system" described here would alone be able to provide such an efficient sorting out of small animals. This film is based on the same named publication in Carnivorous Plant Newsletter (December CPN, Vol. 48/4 - On the release of this film in September 2019 in press): Dionaea Traps Selectively Allow Small Animals to Escape by Siegfried R. H. Hartmeyer, Irmgard Hartmeyer and Emeritus Prof. Stephen E. Williams.
  11. Hello Rogier, thanks for your feedback. Yes, it was actually a lot of fun to play with the amazing tentacles during our experiments. Good luck with your plants! Best regards, Siggi.
  12. How to film sundew snap-tentacles. When filming sundew snap-tentacles, some simple measures can be helpful to prepare the recording correctly and to avoid disturbing shaking by unnecessary poking of the tentacle heads. That needs some understanding on their different response times and motion patterns. Since many years, we experimented with catapulting sundews and summarized our experiences now in this brief movie description, providing hints how to proceed with moderate and rapid catapult-flypaper traps. The idea for this film came up after some requests on Facebook how to film such tentacle motions. Good luck when filming your Drosera.
  13. Vegetarian sundews: Few people know, that carnivorous plants like also vegetarian diet, as long as it is rich in protein like flower pollen. To show this, we fed fresh stamens of a Sarracenia leucophylla with adhering pollen to four different Drosera species (photos). D. capensis and D. ultramafica rolled in the leaf as intensive as with animal prey. D. capensis x aliciae moved at least the surrounding tentacles to the protein pack and the tentacles of D. schizandra, which does not show any leaf movement even with mosquitoes, clearly dock on the pollen portion, enjoying the meal.
  14. 2019 turns out to be a good season for the largest catapult-flypaper trap. The catapults fling prey in 75 milliseconds, faster than the VFT. Now, the plants are flowering nicely at our greenhouse.
  15. The hybrid Utricularia 'Nüdlinger Flair' (U. alpina x humboldtii) is a very easy to grow large flowering plant.