This Plant Summons An Ant Army By Bleeding Nectar When…

This Plant Summons An Ant Army By Bleeding Nectar When Wounded 

Plants aren’t always the innocent, harmless eye-candy we might think they are — the Venus flytrap is proof of that.

And researchers from the Free University of Berlin just added another sinister plant to the list: the bittersweet nightshade plant.

When the plant is wounded by herbivores or insects gnawing on its leaves, it effectively bleeds a sweet nectar that attracts ants. Those lured ants send encroaching leaf-eaters scurrying by biting and attacking them.

And because the “sweet blood” isn’t linked to any other structures or functions of the nightshade, the researchers can confidently conclude attracting an ant army isn’t some sort of beneficial side-effect — it’s probably the whole reason the plant bleeds nectar.

To be clear, scientists have long observed other plants that basically create bug armies by luring them in with nectar or giving them shelter. But plant wounds that attract an ant army? That’s new.

By: Newsy Science.

Advertisements
This Plant Summons An Ant Army By Bleeding Nectar When…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s