Readers’ wildlife photos

Readers: send in your photos! With six or seven photo posts a week, the tank empties quickly.

Tony Eales from Queensland sent some photos of carnivorous plants. His captions are indented:

The first one is from the Drosera peltata complex—probably D. peltata subsp. auriculata [“shield sundew”], Giraween National Park:

Next is the really common sundew D. spatulata, Giraween National Park:

The next three pics are from a trip I took to Sabah, Borneo in 2004 Mt Kinabalu. The first was said by the guide to be the smallest pitcher plant but I don’t know the species. The other two were of the largest Nepenthes rajah [JAC: this species is endemic to  Mount Kinabalu and neighbouring Mount Tambuyukon]:

 

Some Bladderwort Utricularia sp. flowers from Giraween National Park:

Finally, an aquatic bladderwort, Utricularia australis:

13 Comments

  1. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted March 8, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Are the soils in this Giraween and Mt Kinabalu area particularly nitrogen poor? Or are they on different islands?
    Wikis it – OIC. One is on the main island of the Indonesian/ Malaysian archipelago and the other is in Queensland. Different trips.
    The common theory is that plant carnivory develops when nitrogen is a severely limiting nutrient, and the plants that by whatever means accumulates animal waste or animal bodies gets a competitive advantage by extracting nitrogen from the waste (or body).

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted March 8, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      I don’t know but perhaps the soil has nitrogen but it is effectively not available for the plants. Reasons could be pH of the boggy soil or stiff competition with soil bacteria. So they supplement by catching some flying nitrogen, if you get my drift.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted March 9, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Good point – the mineral (N in this case) can be as present as you like, but if it’s not biologically available, it may as well not be there.
        Would this be a good place to say “all hail the fungal mycelium!” I was watching Professor Trilobite’s prog on fungi last night, reminding me of exactly that point.

        • Tony Eales
          Posted March 9, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Giraween NP is the part of a large granite formation that has been pushed up above the surface. The soil is very thin and sandy being made up of almost entirely decomposed granite. The area where the carnivorous plants are is in the spring fed permanent creek and waterholes so creates lots of boggy spots where soil builds up.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted March 10, 2017 at 4:28 am | Permalink

            Sounds a pretty classical place for low nitrogen availability.

  2. Posted March 8, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Great to see nice pictures of these fantastic plants.

  3. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted March 8, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Exceptionally interesting! I have encountered lots of pitcher plants in boggy areas, but would love to see other kinds.

    • rickflick
      Posted March 8, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Same here. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was where I first saw them. The bogs there contain deep mats you can bounce on and they are full of these pitcher plants and sundews. I was unaware they could be found on the other side of the world.

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted March 8, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Mine was just north of that, on a canoe portaging expedition in ‘Canadia’.

  4. Dominic
    Posted March 8, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Nice pitcher pictures!

  5. loren russell
    Posted March 8, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    N. rajah is one of the “tree-shrew crapper” complex of pitchers, surely one of the more interesting symbiotic relationships! The ornate, reinforced rim to the pitcher is the give-away.

  6. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted March 8, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    “I went to the wilds to photograph plants, and I looked down and there was a 10p coin! My lucky day.”

  7. Marilee Lovit
    Posted March 8, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful pictures. I know those genera from Maine, but not the same species. Carnivorous plants are so interesting– and Darwin devoted a whole book on them.


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