We examined the relationship between pitcher characteristics (sugar concentration in nectar, percentage of red coloration and three indices of size) and prey capture in three populations of the carnivorous plant, Sarracenia alata Wood. The indices of size (height, funnel diameter and hood area) were highly correlated in all three populations. Pitcher size and mass of prey capture per day differed significantly among populations. Pitcher size was significantly positively related to total mass of prey capture per day, explaining 37–76% of the variation depending on the population. The sugar concentration in nectar and the red coloration as we measured them were not important in determining prey capture. Examining alternative measurements of nectar (e.g., total nectar production and/or presence of amino acids), volatiles and the presence of UV reflectance patterns may yield further insight into the relationship between pitcher characteristics and prey capture.
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