Cirsium discolor (Muhl) Spreng (Asteraceae) and Penstemon digitalis Nutt. (Scrophulariaceae) produce sticky material only in their inflorescences. While there is a wealth of printed information concerning such sticky traps occurring in other parts of plants, there is relatively little about those specifically in inflorescences. In order to determine whether sticky traps in the inflorescences of these two plant species defend against seed predators and other herbivores and predators, it was necessary to discover what arthropods use them. Literature search revealed very little about arthropods associated with C. discolor, and nothing about those associated with P. digitalis. Observations showed that, for both plant species, pollinators do not come in contact with the traps, and each plant has several seed predators able to successfully avoid the traps. Several predatory arthropods occur on C. discolor. Two of them, a minute pirate bug and a small salticid spider, seem to glean from its sticky traps. A theridiid spider occasionally builds its web in P. digitalis inflorescences, but was not seen to glean from sticky traps. An undescribed pteromalid parasitizes one of the seed predators of P. digitalis. Ants and aphids are deterred by the traps.
Thomas, Patricia A.
"Arthropods Utilizing Sticky Inflorescences of Cirsium Discolor and Penstemon Digitalis,"
The Great Lakes Entomologist: Vol. 40
, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/tgle/vol40/iss2/8