Keywords: cultivation: Dionaea
What is a fishing
article doing in Carnivorous Plant Newsletter? Read on to see how one
hobby interest can overlap with another!
When it gets
hot in the Carolinas in late spring, the crappie and brim fishing slows
down. At the same time, the large Dionaea muscipula plants which
I have growing in redwood hot tubs are almost at their prime. There are
probably two hundred or more in each of my tubs. It becomes very tedious
trying to feed all those hungry mouths with crickets left over from the
most recent fishing trip.
One day after
a fishing trip I noticed about ten or so flies landing on a dead and stinking
bait minnow. Wow! An idea came to me. What if I put the bait in the flytrap
bog and see if it would draw flies to the awaiting open and hungry traps.
I tried, and Whamo! it drew them like flies (pardon the phrase). On that
day many traps got fed, and I just stood back and watched in total amazement.
On my next
fishing trip I saved about thirty minnows for my bog tubs. First I let
the minnows become really smelly, then I scattered them among the plants.
The smell of the decaying minnows brought all the flies in the neighborhood
to the awaiting Dionaea. And it was a great bargain--would you
rather have more flies around, or happy traps smiling at you for your
On the day
of my experiment, my friend Dr. Larry Mellichamp (from the University
of North Carolina at Charlotte) came by and said, "This is the greatest
thing since sliced bread!" We were both amazed at all the activity
around the traps. Flies were everywhere--there must have been five hundred
or more. The innocent flies were getting trapped and the ones that were
lucky enough to escape would circle and come right back until they, too,
succumbed to the snap-traps. We could not keep up with all there was to
did not slow down until sunset. It was then I realized what a great thing
I had found, and that it should be shared with others. Try the fly-banquet
yourself, but only do it only three or four times in a growing season.
Too many flies may be as bad as not enough. Canned sardines would probably
work if you cannot get bait minnows.
flies can be fun, and look at all the time you will save by not having
to hand feed all your beloved Dionaea muscipula. Enjoy!
Figure 1: A
scene from Davids weird backyard. Photo by L. Mellichamp.