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Spiders in pitchers? A Nuisance?


lil_flytrap_kid
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my flytraps seem to be rather good spider catchers. There are at least three right now with long legs poking out of the trap in all direction. Perhaps a few more of them around could help with some of the spiders?

there was something about spiders a few weeks back on the blog section of www.cobraplant.com this is a blurb from that posting:

I first spotted this particular spider in the early morning as the sun was illuminating the lower interior of the pitcher. I waited until nightfall and, sure enough, discovered this little fellow to be a nocturnal predator. It comes to the top of the pitcher at nighttime to hunt visitors to the plant. They do no apparent damage to the plant. It seems they catch their fill and depart leaving the pitcher plenty of time to catch sufficient prey to maintain good seasonal health.

I haven't had experience with this yet, but it seems that they eat and leave.

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Different species have different habits. Some go out hunting, some build catching webs and some do a bit of both. Lil_flytrap_kid has observed the type which build a web at or slightly below the mouth of the pitcher and stay there for a while.

I find VFTs outside catch Harvestmen rather than spiders. Not sure if that's the same with other people in the UK or in the US.

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I have a small outdoor collection and many pitchers have resident spiders. I used to try removing them until I noticed something. They were making larger webs between pitchers which caught quite a few greenfly.

Seeing that they benefit the plants in this way, I now leave them alone. I find that large prey such as houseflies and bluebottles can actually force their ways through the small webs at pitcher openings and aren't worried by the tiny spiders so the plants do still get food.

If you're lucky enough to get hunting spiders around your plants(Like the little zebra striped ones), they often stalk up and down pitchers and actually pounce on any aphids they find.

Cheers

Kyle

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  • 2 months later...

Well I think that if the plant is successful in it's mission to catch insects, (like mine :D ) then the spider web won't be able to sustain the weight. Also I don't think spiders eat all that much so insects stack and in the end fall in the pitcher. Btw I don't have any spider related problem. The only few times I saw spiders in my plants where inside my VFT, squized out of their tasty juices :wink: .

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During the summer months I don't see many spiders inside the pitchers, but at this time of the year when we are approaching autumn I find small spiders with white abdomens taking up residence just inside the top of some the pitchers, They are not catching flies but guarding egg sacs, during which time they don't usually eat so they are not after a free meal . They obviously feel safer there. If I try to peep in the top and see how the eggs are progressing the mother spiders come rushing out with front legs raised in a threatening gesture, so the slippery walls are not a hindrance to them in any way.

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Hi, i see spiders inside my terrarium too, but my plants dont cachthem, nice crab spiders, are they litle venomous or very venomous?, Good luc kwith spiders i have some bad experience with another insects but spiders are good firnds at all!. =)

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All spiders have venom, or they wouldn't be able to eat, the venom turns insects insides into soup for the spiders to suck out. Generally though spiders do not waste that venom biting humans or other prey that is too big. I think you will find the crab spiders harmless to you.

Here are a couple of photos of the spiders egg sacs on my pitchers. The first one on a leucophylla shows how the mother spider has pulled and webbed the sides of the hood together and her eggsac is in the middle. the eggs have now hatched and mum is still guarding her babies, she's only little but she thinks nothing of rearing up and showing me her fangs when I go near. She is a very protective mother. :shock:

spidereggs1.jpg

The second picture the mother is inside the umbrella part of the flower out of sight, but the babies have hatched. In the next few days they should start to disperse

spidereggs2.jpg

There are several of these egg sacs and mother spiders hiding in various pitchers, but they are welcome to stay. there is enough food for them all plants as well and I enjoy watching the spiders and spiderlings as much as I enjoy looking at my plants. :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

The biggest problem I have with spider webs is when you walk in the greenhouse and get one in your face, The neighbours see you flapping your arms around and cursing obsenities at invisible foe and get ready to call the white coats :wink:

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