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Will my venus fly trap eat my frog?
#1
Confusedhock:

My wife thinks that my new venus fly trap that I got from walmart will eat my frogs. (she read it on msn news.com)

The frogs seem too big/ fast to be trapped by it. Though some of the fly trap pods are about the size of my azure. :roll:
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#2
I too got one from Walmart, but I didn't originally plan to keep in in my vivarium. I got it simply because I felt sorry for the poor plant. Anyway, upon taking it out I felt how soft they were and I doubt a frog could become trapped in one. Even if it does snap shut on a leg or something it is way too soft for a frog. Even a tiny frog should be able to break it easy with a little flip of the leg. However, this is just a guess. I don't have any frogs yet and I'm sure someone who has had experience with traps and frogs will reply.
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#3
i have both frogs and vft's, and can answer that only the tiniest of frogs would be in danger. flytraps close in two stages, in the first stage they snap closed, but it's a loose grip. in the second stage they decide if what they have is yummy, then they either re-open or seal really tight and begin to digest. even a juvenile non-thumb would not have a problem.

the plant might be another story. each leaf can only close once or twice before it dies. new traps come fairly fast, but if the frogs were constantly triggering the traps the plant would soon lose all traps and die. also two more really important things about vft's: like most carnivorous plants vft's evolved in areas with very acidic soil(peat). the very low ph and antibiotic qualities of peat moss stop natural decay....hence those perfectly preserved bodies that they pull up out of peat bogs. because things don't decay, you get no fertilizer in the soil.....thus the development of carnivory. what this means for us is that you need peaty soil to grow them in and YOU MUST USE WATER WITH VERY LITTLE MINERAL CONTENT TO PRESERVE THE ACIDITY (RO WATER OR DISTILLED WATER). hard water is a total killer for cp's. the second important thing is that you need to give vft's an artificial winter to keep them healthy. they actually have a lifespan of 25-40 years under good conditions. this part is easy...just leave the vft in the pot and hide the pot in your substrate. then you just pull it and put the pot in your refridgerator to make a dormant period (false winter). the best option is to also play with the light cylce to replicate shortening days in the fall to give the plant cues that it's about time for dormancy. peter d'amato wrote a really fun and reliable book called the savage garden which can be purchased online for 20 bucks or so. his rule of thumb for dormancy is at least thanksgiving through valentine's day. then you just pull the pot out and put it back in your terrarium or wherever. i did a really beautiful viv for cp's (saracennia purpurea are great for this too) and used this technique. the nepenthes and sundews stayed in the viv year 'round and the american pitchers and vft's got pulled and refrigerated. but the tank was plants only, so....

p.s. the leaves should be a bit stiff/tough...if they are soft like dandylions make sure you keep the soil constantly moist (but not soaked like many other cp's), and they need a fair amount of light.
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#4
Can they live mainly off of light? The tiny flies I feed aren't usaully that stimulating for it and walk right through the traps.
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#5
yeah, light is the food, and bugs are the supplement. they do better if they get some bugs (once a month is great), but it would be hard to 'starve' them by not providing bugs. and besides, feeding them is fun! they close after two trigger hairs are touched, so if you feed dead bugs just wiggle the bug in the trap or touch the sides of the trap with the tweezers you use to feed.
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