Delicious Bugs*

Fall is the season when pitcher plants can really shine. After the heat that has slowed growth goes away, many of them put out great collections of new pitchers.

Pitcher Plants in a container garden

These new traps catch a lot of insects trying to do collect food that might see them or their offspring through the winter, thus providing the same opportunity for the pitchers.

Fall Afternoon Pitcher Plants Fall Afternoon Pitcher Plants

Fall Afternoon Pitcher Plants Fall Afternoon Pitcher Plants

The pitchers on my back deck are currently filled with metallic green sweat bees (a native solitary bee, Agapostemon sp.), flies, and a bunch of the same white moth that I haven’t tried to identify. What’s fascinating and kind of gross is how long it takes the insects to succumb to exhaustion, drowning, or probably suffocation due to the insects on top of them. Jason told me I wasn’t allowed to take video and put it on the internet, so of course I took video and put it on the internet.

Another interesting thing is that should you try to rescue the victims, like I did for a honeybee, the traps are so attractive that they end up right back in there. It’s what makes them so successful.

Insects Trapped in a Pitcher Insects Trapped in a Pitcher

Insects Trapped in a Pitcher

Sorry that you’re delicious*, bugs.

*To a carnivorous plant.

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Bristlenose Catfish Babies!

The catfish are breeding again. I came down to look at the Battlestar the other day and found a whole bunch of newly released ancistrus fry hiding in various places by the waterline.

These guys were hanging out around the filter return pipe clips.

Close-up of the underside of very small suckermouth catfish

Another set of them were clustered around the giant stump that’s currently growing watercress. These ones I decided to catch out and move to another tank where they were much less likely to be eaten. I moved seven fish but have only seen four at one time since.

Dorsal side of catfish fry, brown fish against a white background

The male is still in the catfish cave and guarding it pretty fiercely. May have to keep an eye out for more fry soon. I keep wondering if I had more caves in the tank if there would be more fry. I know I have at least 2 adult males in there. Not sure how many females, although unlike a lot of other species, these ladies pretty much just have to lay the eggs and they’re done. The males do all of the nest guarding. If I had more nests, I’d end up with more catfish though. I even still have three from the last batch that are currently at about an inch and a half long. Not a horrible thing, but I like a bit more variety. Nice thing is that they make good community fish for a lot of tanks and I could probably sell them easily in the future. But for now, they’re just adorable catfish babies.

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New look!

Kept being frustrated by an aspect of the default theme I was using on this site so I finally found a different one that had what I was looking for and was relatively easy to customize. Apparently it is now also responsive so you can read it on small screens better. That’s pretty cool. Let me know what you think!

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