The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Darlingtonia pollination studies in 2006

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Death zone:
Can you see the hunched-over, hungry little predator, sitting on the flower at the center-right in this photograph? What a gruesome set of wall-hangings and chandeliers it has decorating its home! You might think that one of those insects might be the mysterious Darlingtonia pollinator, but attempts (by other scientists, not by myself) to find pollen dusted on them have been unsuccessful. It appears instead that the insects made the mistake of stopping on the flower for a quick rest.

Could it be that this spider is the pollinating agent? Yes, oddly as it seems, it has been suggested that this spider's career of web-weaving and patrolling of the flower might actually, inadvertently, provide the mechanism of pollination. Could it be so?

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005