The exciting discovery of Roridula gorgonias this week near Galpin hut is pictured here.
Roridula gorgonias is one of those fascinating plants which shares its existence in a symbiotic relationship with an insect, a carnivorous (assassin) bug, Pameridea roridulae for survival.
Roridula are para-carnivorous plants. They have a poor root system like carnivorous plants so need to supplement their food intake. Its secretions trap insects but do not have digestive enzymes to digest trapped insects.
The bug, Pameridea roridula is only found on the Roridula plant. It is not trapped by the sticky resin secretions of R gorgonias as are other insects. Pameridea roridulae devours the insects that are trapped on the Roridula and then excretes waste that is consumed by the plant to supplement its diet, necessary as it grows in nutrient poor soil. Without the Roridula, Pameridea bugs cannot find a food source and ultimately die. Pameridea roridulae mate on the plant and hatchlings live on the Roridula plant. Food bug and plant work as one!
Article and images by Di Marais