On the floodplain of the Jardine River, an interesting symbiotic relationship occurs between a Nepenthes pitcher plant and black ants. In this sandy but waterlogged swamp, many Nepenthes rowaniae x mirabilis plants had colonies of ants living in their dead pitchers. The ants fill these traps with sand to build their nests, benefitting from the dry niche formed by the elevated foliage. Marauding ants roam the Nepenthes plant and inadvertently fall into its traps, ending up as food for their host.
Australian pitcher plants farm their own food
Tags: ant, ecology, nepenthes, nepenthes rowaniae