Tropical Pitcher Plant (Kantung Semar)

Indonesia has many species of Nepenthes sp, which can be found in Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan and other islands in Indonesia. This pant can be easily acknowledge by the pouch shape. The pouch consists of digestive enzymes, and that the plant trap insects the pouch and digested the it.

However it turns out that in its natural habitat, the plant is not only a death trap, yet the liquid in pitcher plan has diverse microbial life and complex organism and insects that escape digestion.

The main insects found the pouch are Diptera ordo and Hymenoptera ordo. Inquilines of the pitcher consists of protozoa, bacterus, algae, fungi, rotifers, crustaceans, arachnids, insects and amphibia. The pitcher plants hist different sets of inquilines, depends on the size, life span of the pitcher as well as its fluid.

Inquilines has close relationship with the pitcher, some live parasitically, but most of them are mutualists. Beneficial activities include secretion of enzymes, feeding plant prey, successive excretion of inorganic nutrients, removal of excessive prey and assimiation of N2.

Though there are abundance of species’s of pitcher plants, the trapping mechanism are similar. The trapping process is driven by gravity, which the prey trapped in the pouch and unable to climb up. The uppermost of the pitcher has glands producing nectar and volatiles that attract prey.