The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Splinter Hill Bog, Alabama, 2010

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Evening light
Evening was approaching, and Brian pointed out how the plants were starting to become beautifully back-lit.

I realize that I've mentioned Exyra a number of times, without explanation. Exyra is a genus of three moths that live in association with Sarracenia. The moths can enter and exit pitchers without danger. (How?) They lay their eggs inside the pitchers, and the caterpillars feast on the pitcher walls. As they do so, the pitcher tops flop over. Notice the damage in a few of the pitchers shown here.

Exyra is detested by Sarracenia fans. While I don't like the damage they cause, I have no quarrel with the moths. Indeed, they are really beautiful. (I took photographs of them on this trip, which I discuss in part three of my Florida trip report.)

Brian found an Exyra moth and held it in his hand. Remarkably, when he released it, it flew full speed--in a loose spiral trajectory--directly into a nearby Sarracenia pitcher! These critters know their homes, and they know how to find them!

It was magical that the plants looked so different with the sun at your back!

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Revised: June 2010
©Barry Rice, 2005