Nepenthes pitcher plants have evolved carnivorous habits as the answer to growing in extremely nutrient-poor habitats (2) (5). The plants are able to break down and absorb nitrogen and other nutrients from animals, usually invertebrates such as insects, that fall into the pitchers. This supplements any nutrition gained from the soils and therefore allows these plants to survive where others may not. Nepenthes plants attract their prey with nectar, aromas and visual signals such as colour (5). The brim of the pitcher, the peristome, produces the highest amount of nectar, and animals stepping on the slippery, waxy surface of the peristome often fall in. There, unable to escape, they drown in the pitcher fluid and their bodies are broken down by digestive enzymes (2).
Like many Nepenthes species, the fanged pitcher plant has also developed a mutualistic relationship with insects. The ant Camponotus schmitzi nests in the hollow tendrils of the plant, and is able to run up and down the walls of the pitchers without falling in, enabling it to hunt in the pitcher fluid (2) (4). In an unusual twist, these ants help the fanged pitcher plant not by feeding it, but by removing some of its larger prey. When pitcher plants catch large insects or other large prey, the animal can begin to decay before being digested, and this putrefaction can spread to the pitcher and shorten its lifespan. The ants specifically haul out these larger items from the pitcher, breaking them into smaller pieces to feed upon, and thereby also benefit from this strange relationship (4).
Nepenthes are dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female plants. Likely pollinators include flies, moths, beetles, bugs and ants, which have all been observed visiting the flowers. The fruit takes around three months to develop, and can contain 500 or more seeds, which are very light and have long wings, and are carried by the wind to aid dispersal (2).