Living With Camponotus schmitzi

Pitcher

Nepenthes bicalcarata, Home to the Swimming Ant
Photo: David Sucianto

Camponotus schmitzi, found on the island of Borneo only lives in the pitchers of the Nepenthes bicalcarata pitcher plant. The pitcher plant has a relatively weakly acidic digestive fluid that allows the ants to dive into the water and retrieve prey captured by the pitcher.

The ants collect only the largest prey, leaving the smaller prey for the pitcher plant. Larger prey is digested more slowly by the pitcher plant. Large prey could putrify and kill the plant, so prey removal is beneficial.

The ants also attack herbivores such as weevils that feed on their host plant. This ant-plant mutualism is one of many relationships between ants and other species.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Living With Camponotus schmitzi

  1. Pingback: Living With Camponotus schmitzi – Entomo Planet

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