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Ian_P

Flies.

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Fair play to my local pet shop.

I popped in today for a mouse for the snake and asked if he could get wingless fruit flies. The guy put them on next weeks order.

Fair play to him!

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Guest paul y

oh the fun I have had with flies, my favorourite trick, catch a fly put it in a bag in the freezer until stunned, remove from freezer tie thin cotton around fly and wait for it to wake up, then take your leashed fly for a walk!

a common sight in my garden is me chasing clouds of gnats with drosera in each hand, plain white maggots for sarracenia, pinkies and squats are good for small plants, my d capensis love fish food flakes.

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Yes Mad we can ! And it gives good results ! A lot of people use this technique to feed small venus fly traps because it can't catch bugs. It helps to have strong plants and a good growing.

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Guest paul y

I couldn't believe the reaction on my d capensis, i started to believe that the plants speed of response to prey is closely linked to photosynthetic rates, as in they respond quicker in bright light until I tried fish flakes, they wrapped their leaves in knots in 10 mins or so,

no more chasing clouds of gnats which is a shame as I was getting weird looks all the time

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I don't know a lot about D. Capensis but for venu fly traps I think that have read that their speed of closing is highly linked to the temperature and the light they receive. Maybe it is the same thing for D. Capensis but honestly I'm not sure that it is really interesting to feed it, their trap are so effective naturally !

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I'm not sure that it is really interesting to feed it, their trap are so effective naturally !

Not interesting to feed them... I'm farming springtails (Folsomia candida) and watching my seedlings nom them at 160X magnification. Great fun and have seen the first leaf roll not just the tentacles engulf them. I guess being new to it makes everything a wonder.

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Guest paul y

I don't think I will ever lose interest in cps feeding mechanisms, ive been thinking about most cps complete inability to digest the exoskeletons of prey, they just don't don't produce the enzymes necessary to break down the chitin, ive autopsied pitchers that have fed heavily and the are full of empty husks, seeing as most flies spend time in a larval stage minus the chitin, ive cut out the middle man, ive been using maggots from my local fishing shop to feed pitchers that otherwise don't get many flies, they can be kept in the fridge which slows their movement making them perfect for feeding vfts, they are even available in 3 different sizes and a few quid buys you a pint, hundreds upon hundreds of flies yet to be,

plus you always have the upside of winding up friends with attack of the flies, or forget they are in the fridge and keep on forgetting till the wife finds them

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I'm still pondering on how long it is going to take the pet shop boys to pull the wings of hundreds of fruit flies! :shout:

Does anyone know the PH of arthropod chitin?

Cheers

steve

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Does anyone know the PH of arthropod chitin?

Chitin itself has no pH but I don't know about the products after some of the plant chitinolytic enzymes have had a go at it. I think it is mostly broken down into glucose and as such there would be no pH change from that.

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Guest paul y

I was in the bank yesterday smug as you like as I was making my final mortgage payment (52k in equity in 7 years) and part of my mind was pondering the above, if cps produce enzymes to break down chitin, what exactly is the explanation for all the exo skeletal remains in well over 200 pitcher autopsies (some of them 6 months after controlled feeding) over 100 fly captures by vfts (again controlled) and hundreds upon hundreds of gnat captures by various drosera, in every case there is always a large amount of exo skeletal remains, in a lot of cases just an empty but otherwise intact husk. (albeit somewhat crushed in vfs).

I have also found that some insects are not particularly beneficial, I have fed vfts with woodlice resulting in the death of the individual trap nearly every time, I have fed various pitchers crushed snails, and the pitcher has developed indigestion patches in days and in some cases that pitcher has died back, for all my controlled experiments I would say cps have issues (for want of better terminology) breaking down the "hard parts" of insects,

take 3 pitchers of equal size in pit 1 place a maggot, in pit 2 place caster, in pitcher 3 place a fly (all sourced from the same pint of maggots) then autopsy the pitchers after a set period of time, pitchers 2 and 3 will contain exo skeletal remains, pitcher 1 wont have any remains.

I am not arguing with established facts nor am i claiming anyone else is wrong, just highlighting my findings and experience,

what have you experienced with cps and crunchy insects?

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@Paul Y You are right there is a lot of left over remains when a plant is done with its arthopod of choice but this is because in the insect world there are as many types of chitin as there are insects. What most people think of a chitin is in fact sclerotin it is more like the carbon fiber of the insect world. The parts of the insect that are more likely to have pure chitin are the joints between the stiffer sclerotin parts like the head, thorax and can sometimes be seen between the parts of an expanded abdomen.

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Guest paul y

that explains it, im no entomologist and as such never really appreciated the fact there may be different types of chitin, trust in invertebrates to have an answer to carbon fiber, I wouldn't be surprised if they have reactive and ablative armours as well, where would snail shells and woodlouse exoskeleton lie in the scheme of things, woodlouse has proved fatal to vft traps for me every time, and crushed snails don't break down well nor do slugs, although im starting to believe that snails and slugs rot before they are digested..

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woodlouse has proved fatal to vft traps for me every time,

Lol if you can think it the insects got the 1000s of years before hand, even mechanical gearing (Issus coleoptratus)

0066367f994.jpg

As for woodlouse I had an out break of fungi and someone on here told me to 'never' use copper based fungicide as it is death to cp's without testing I would say it could have something to do with the 'Haemocyanin' in the woodlouse blood as it is copper based as to hemoglobin that has iron. As for snails they are a cocktail of chemicals from hyaluronic acid to glycoproteins they could just be too nasty for the plant to break down.

Keep testing :)

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Guest paul y

that image is just mind blowing, what is the purpose of this gear? that would explain the woodlouse and snail results thanks for the expert input its really appreciated, when a cp "digests" prey is it breaking it down into various foms of glucose or does it go right down to molecular compounds as in various npk compounds, I ask as I intend to experiment with feeding pitchers various organic feeds of differing strengths.

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Woodlice (being crustaceans) and snails both use calcium carbonate to make their exoskeleton/shell. This would explain why CP's don't like them; their intolerance for 'lime' (by most) not just a characteristic of the root system but apparently extending to the interior of traps as well!

This isn't to say copper-based blood couldn't be to blame also.

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