An Insight Into The Way The Carnivorous Plants Trap Insects

An Insight Into The Way The Carnivorous Plants Trap Insects


Anthony Mills

A detailed look at nature’s creations can leave you completely amused. Amidst various other creations of nature are carnivorous plants. Unlike most plants that use daylight to make their food, carnivorous plants trap insects and other organisms for their food. Different carnivorous plants use different techniques to catch their prey.

The most common trapping system employed by carnivorous plants is the fly paper trapping mechanism. Here, the plant secretes an adhesive like substance thru its mucilage glands, so that the moment an insect sits on it, it is trapped. Plants such as the sundew or the butterwort make use of this mechanism to trap prey like flies, fungus gnats and mosquitoes.

A very well known trapping technique as employed by several plants is pitcher type trap mechanism. The pitcher type part of the plants helps them to catch any organismregardless of its size whether big or large. These plants are well provided with the pitchers which can easily trap preys as large as the rodents and the like. These plants have a long chamber that finally leads to the pitcher. This pitcher as present in the carnivorous plants is completely full of acid. This acid in turn facilitates in the straightforward digestion of the catch which are even big in size.


Snap trap mechanism is another common trapping mechanism used by many meat eating plants. Here in, the plants open their leaves and wait for any organism to settle down. As soon as an organism sits on the leaves, it closes on its own and the organism is besieged. The leaves of the plant remain closed until the catch is completely digested. Plants like Venus Flytrap and Waterwheel employ this catching technique to get their food.

Yet another trapping mechanism of the carnivorous plants that’s unknown to several to many is the lobster pot trap. These carnivorous plants trap the prey by giving an easy entry to the prey. However, the prey is not allowed an exit once it enters. As the prey or the catch enters the plant, it loses its way to come out and so remains trapped. It’s been noted that such trapping mechanism is usually followed by the aquatic plants. Some plants that follow this kind of trapping technique are genlisa plants, corkscrew plants and a lot more.

There are some meat eating plants that fall in the class of borderline carnivores. These plants do not eat the prey. Instead, they soak up the nutrient components of the trapped insect and then leave them. Plants like catopsis barteroniana, and Ibicella lutea make use of such a prey catching mechanism.

These wonders of nature are more than fascinating with their carnivorous traits. In the end, it just proves how flexible and unique Mother Nature’s creations really are.

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