A species of pitcher plant found in Singapore isn’t very good at dissolving the prey it catches, but it gets nutritional help from worm larvae that live and eat within its maws.
On the soggy floor of one of the only remaining intact forests on the island nation of Singapore, the egg-sized heads of carnivorous creatures emerge from decaying leaves. They appear to be belching, or singing, or screaming out the catch phrase of their cousin in Hollywood — “Feed me Seymour.”
This is Nepenthes ampullaria, an unusual pitcher plant found on the islands of Southeast Asia and the Malay Peninsula. And its “Seymour” is the worm larva of Xenoplatyura beaveri, a species of fungus gnat that develops inside the plant’s mouth. When grown, it looks like a mosquito with big biceps…[READ MORE]