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A couple general questions

I got a double VFT from this site about four months ago, and it's doing pretty well, it seems. I've been going well so far without too much more advice than the initial stuff, but I have a couple more questions.

First, it seems that my plant is fond of daddy long legs. I don't know how the heck it manages to catch the body in the trap instead of the legs, but it's managed two so far.

The first one is killing the trap. Could that be because the legs are sticking out of the trap, or is it because the daddy long legs is venomous? (They just can't bite humans, their fangs aren't big enough.)

Also, should I snip off the trap as soon as I find that it caught one, or should I wait for it to turn black?

Second, I read recently that long leaves mean that the plant is getting insufficient sunlight. The leaves are pretty solid, though, and they're not drooping at all. Most of the traps have a light pink color on the inside, too. Should it be getting more light?

Third, the fact that it's a double plant is starting to bother me. The long leaves are making it look like they're outgrowing the original container, and I really want to separate them. Would now be a good time? I think the plants are big enough to put into dormancy, and I want them to get over the shock of being repotted before that... so I want to separate them now. Good idea or bad idea?

Thanks in advance
My VFT eats daddy long legs too, however what I do is catch them when they fly inside, chop their legs off and leave a bit of the wings and then feed it so nothing stick out (sick as it may seem)

They arent venomous and are easy for the VFT to digest I found.

My VFT has long leaves which tend to flop, see


I do believe (someone correct me if Im wrong) its best to seperate after dormancy?
The Daddy long legs I'm familiar with are spiders, they don't have wings.

I think that picture is a mosquito eater, isn't it?  
i have fed my vft's a few daddy long legs (the spider) in the past. never had one turn thetrap black, though. maybe it was just that traps "time" to go?

now wold be a bad time to separate your plants, unless ou are goin to skip dormancy this winter. just wait till spring t separate them.

the "pink" in the traps is a good sign of adequate lighting. don't sweat it, your doing fine.

CN, we call those mosquito eaters in Colorado, too.

beatnik,  I don't know how the daddy long legs manage to get caught with their body in the trap and their legs up in the air, but they do.  This lets fungus and bacteria get into the trap and results in the trap dieing.  I would wait to cut the trap off until it's all black.  The rest of the leaf will continue to photosynthisize food for the plant.  On repotting, it's usually recommended to wait until the plants are getting ready to come out of dormancy.  

For more info on VFTs go here: Barry Rice's FAQ Page.
You can also use google.com or other search engine to find more info on your VFTs as well as the Plant Care link at thew top of this page under the Exotic Gardens logo.

Have fun gowing your VFT.
I don't know about local slang, but I think those are known as crane flies. We get Bigun's here in southern NY.
Actually, it's the "spider" daddy long legs that I'm talking about (although I've heard too that they're not really spiders) and I'm pretty glad to have them get eaten... I really don't like them.

I've heard the winged ones called both crane flies and mosquito eaters.

I wonder if they are actually attracted to the leaves like other insects are... it would kind of make sense that only the body would get trapped if it was trying to eat something.

Come to think of it, we went on vacation a month ago, and had to have our "pets" watched by my father in law. They weren't in the best lighting conditions for two weeks, and that's right about when this VFT exploded like it did. The leaves are longer than the ones in the pic- the pot is 3", and the leaves have spread across about an 8" diameter.

Could the two weeks in poor light account for it?

  • #10
Two weeks in bad light could be a contributing factor added to the legs sticking out of the trap! I fed one of my traps a large fly. Too large. There is 2 legs sticking out. So far so good though, the trap is not dying, but it's been working on the fly for about 5 days now.

Maybe crane fly is the proper name for it, sounds about right! I've just heard it referred to as a mosquito eater probably by people (including myself until now) who didn't know it's proper name!
  • #11
mosquito eaters would be attracted to the traps because they feed on sweet nectars. I have seen them eat out a humming bird feeder which was full of sugar water.

They wont fit in the traps usally if you get a full grown one so i wouldnt feed them to my plant unless you find small ones though.
  • #12
I think they're called crane flies. So they eat mosquitoes? Cool! Now I just need some insect that will eat fungus gnats!
  • #13
To be correct it doesnt eat mosquitos, it feeds on nectars. it is actully the male of the common mosquito. The small ones that bite are all females. Why it is called a mosquito eater? your guess is as good as mine.
  • #14
The picture is indeed a crane fly. They are not mosquitoes but are from a related family. The are nectar feeders and are mostly nocturnal.


To cure fungus gnats I recommend terrestrial Utrics
  • #15
Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, I fell prey to an urban legend.  I've done my homework, though.

The "spider" daddy long legs to which I was referring is a member of order Opiliones- which is also an arachnid, but a non poisonous one.  They are apparenlty also called Harvestmen, though I've never heard that in person.  They can't spin webs.  Their bodies aren't divided into two sections like spiders, and whereas spiders usually have eight eyes, Opilionids have a maximum of two.  They feed on dead vegetation and animal matter, and are completely harmless.   (Though I still hate them.)

There is an actual spider called a "daddy long legs", family Pholcidae.  They are also called cellar spiders, but they look like a spider with long legs, not a freakish wall crawly thing like Opilionids.  All the references to them I found were European.

The picture above is family Tipulidae, genus Tipula, and crane fly seems to be the most common name for them, though I found a lot of references to "daddy long legs" as well.  From what I've found, they don't feed in the adult stage.  Apparently European crane flies are getting to be a huge pest in the Pacific Northwest US and Canada, as their larvae feed on root systems of lawn grass.

Just thought I'd share the findings...


Edit: I had a huge problem with fungus gnats a little while ago. They were buzzing in clouds over my plants. Until the first pitcher opened on my nepenthes... now they're gone.
  • #16
There is one species of daddy long legs that is the most poisinous (spelling?) spider in the world. But because the fangs are too weak to pierce through human skin, it is no threat to us. I heard that from my science teacher a while back, just thought I'd add that little interesting tid bit of info.