Pameridea roridulae lives in a symbiotic relationship with the carnivorous plant Roridula. There are two Roridula species: Roridula gorgonias and Roridula dentata. Pameridea marlothii only occurs on R. dentata, while P. roridulae exists on both.
Pameridea roridulae can only live on the plant Roridula feeding on insects that the plant captures with its resin-tipped trichomes. After devouring the captured arthropods, it then proceeds to excrete waste, which the plant absorbs using glands. It is therefore a symbiotic insect because of this. It mates, too, while on the plant, and hatchlings continue to live on the Roridula plant.
Since it is symbiotic with the Roridula plant, its status depends on the status of the plant. The Roridula plant is scarce in the wild, due to collecting, pollution, and habitat destruction, although it is secure in cultivation from avid carnivorous plant enthusiasts.
Pameridea roridulae and P. marlothii both have wings; however they are not very good fliers. They are small bugs, usually not reaching more than a few millimetres in size.
Relationship with Roridula
The relationship with Roridula consists primarily of the fact that Roridula produces resin that cannot digest the bugs like other carnivorous plants such as Dionaea muscipula, or Drosera, Pinguicula, Nepenthes and other carnivorous plants have. Thus, P. roridulae and P. marlothii devour the trapped insects on the Roridula and then excrete waste which is consumeable by the plant to supplement its carnivory since it grows in nutrient poor soil. Without the Roridula the Pameridea cannot find a food source; and ultimately die. They breed and live on the plant. Because P. roridulae and P. marlothii eat and digest the food for the plant, some carnivorous plant enthusiasts consider Roridula only sub-carnivorous; however it is only a matter of style. Even though Sarracenia purpurea uses a variety of worm to digest captured arthropods for them, and the same is true for Darlingtonia californica, Roridula is related in these ways. Pameridea have special feet with hairs on them that allow them to run through the plants' resin without being caught themselves.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2007)|
- Voigt, D. and Gorb S. (2008) An insect trap as habitat: cohesion-failure mechanism prevents adhesion of Pameridea roridulae bugs to the sticky surface of the plant Roridula gorgonias. The Journal of Experimental Biology 211, 2647-2657.