My growing collection of neps

Ertiocx

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Amazing! ... Do you post image collections anywhere else, ie flickr?
Thanks! I've mostly just been posting the photos here recently. I used to upload to flickr but I haven't used my account in a while. Might have to go and reactivate my account.
 

Ertiocx

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Did you melt extra drain holes in the pot (last pic)? Are they possibly for more air in the medium?
Sure did. It's a standard 3.5" square nursery pot that I melted holes into with a soldering iron and a conical bit.
The holes help the medium dry out faster, and I had made them thinking that they might improve aeration, although I don't really know how much of a difference it makes for the plants.

My potting mix is a 1:1:1 blend of LECA, charcoal chunks, and bark fines, that's mixed with sphagnum until I think it's retaining enough moisture.
I have all the plants sitting in trays with a misting nozzle overhead. The mist helps keep the top layer/moss moist so I just water when the medium I can see through the holes starts to look dry.
 

Ertiocx

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Villosa x Hamata BE-4099 is growing nicely but is still a very tiny plant. The rosette is barely 5cm in diameter and it makes pitchers about the size of a pea.

Interestingly, it seems to have a preference for inserting its tendrils into moss and growing pitchers so that the mouths are just barely above the surface.
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I was wondering if it was catching much of anything with these small, half-buried pitchers. Collembola definitely seem to take an interest. You can see one sitting on the peristome below.
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I pulled a bit of liquid out of one of these pitchers with a syringe to look at under a microscope. Sure enough, it's full of digested springtails.
I counted 11 springtails in about 50 uL of liquid, so it seems that these tiny pitchers are doing a fine job of feeding the plant.

100x:
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Ertiocx

Carnivorous Plant Addict
One thing I found interesting is leaves of villosa and villosa hybrid don't have a smooth surface. They have those little dimples (freckles?) which I haven't seen from any other neps.
I noticed this too! I wonder if they're some sort of trichome, or something being secreted out of a pore of some kind. I clipped a bit of old dying leaf off to look at under a microscope.


50x, upper leaf surface: Multiple freckle things present on both the leaf margin and adaxial surface.
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200x leaf margin: The black stuff stands proud of the surface and looks kinda like a dried up scab. I wonder if it would look different on a younger leaf, but I don't want to clip any fresh leaves since the plant is still so small.
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200x adaxial surface: Same sort of scab-looking black blob that stands proud of the leaf surface.
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200x abaxial surface: A couple of these black things are present on the underside of the leaf too, though far fewer than on the upper surface. Tons of stomata are present on this surface though.
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The pictures make me think the black blobs are some sort of sessile gland similar to what's shown here in Figs 1-3: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/LEAF-ANATOMICAL-COMPARISON-BETWEEN-NATURAL-HYBRID-×-Farishy-N./1614ae8a9e02737d9d83c13d6607e579e1ef05a0

Bonus pic: :')
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Ertiocx

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Lots of new pitchers opening up lately.

N. truncata: These are starting to get real big (~18cm tall). Too bad the pitchers themselves are still rather plain.
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N. robcantleyi: It's still nice and tubby and has a more developed peristome than the previous pitcher.
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Previous pitcher developed some nice colour:
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Also noticed this new pitcher hiding in a corner on a Maliau basin N. veitchii:
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N. x Bloody Mary has improved dramatically since I received it back in post 40184.
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Ertiocx

Carnivorous Plant Addict
I cut up a veitchii peristome to look at under a microscope:

100x: First order (the large ridges that terminate in teeth) and second order ridges (linear arrangements of small scale-like cells) are visible.
Nectar glands (clumps of reddish cells) sit inside pockets near the edge of the peristome. Field of view is 2 mm diameter.
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200x: A closer look at one of the nectar glands. Field of view here is 1mm in diameter.
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200x: Peristome sliced perpendicular to the ridges. Most of the peristome is made of spongy tissue. There's an empty channel where the nectar gland sits. There're some vascular bundles (more densely packed smaller cells) visible arranged around the hole. Field of view = 1mm.
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200x: Peristome sliced parallel to ridges. Nectar gland visible as a tube-like structure that runs inside a channel and terminates in a cluster of reddish cells. The peristome is shiny with nectar. Field of view = 1mm.
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50x: Peristome sliced parallel to ridges. Water immersion to get a better look at the cells. The tube-like nectar gland as well as a bunch of vascular bundles are visible here running through the spongy peristome in the shape of a "C." Field of view = 4mm.
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200x of the above image: Large vacuoles can be seen inside the nectar gland cells, they look like droplets of oil. The vacuoles in the outer-most nectar cells are reddish.
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