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Examples of carnivorous plants

The carnivorous plants or insectivorous plants are plants that feed on animals (mainly insects ) and protozoa . The carnivorous plants rely on intake of animals for their survival because in most cases grow in poor soil nutrients, which are forced to have to resort to the use of other nutritional sources to survive as plant species . There are around 630 species of carnivorous plants and each one of them has a particular way of attracting its prey.

What do carnivorous plants eat?

In general, these plants feed, as mentioned above, on insects , although they can sometimes eat arachnids , frogs , worms, baby rodents or scorpions , fish , birds and reptiles (all these small in size).

Habitat of carnivorous plants

They are mostly found on land (particularly in nutrient-deficient soils). Many species of these plants have a cold and humid climate and can be grown in a home garden. Many of these plants even tolerate 0 ° C of temperature. However, others require temperatures between 20 ° and 30 ° C.

However, carnivorous plants are scattered all over the planet; Australia, Madagascar, Venezuela, The Guyanas, Morocco, etc. There is even a species of carnivorous plant , Aldrovanda vesiculosa , which is aquatic.

Common diseases of carnivorous plants

These plants tend to suffer infestations of mealybugs and aphids and can, in certain cases, cause the death of said plant. However, if the attack is recent, it can be eliminated with the rubbing of the hands or with isopropyl alcohol.

How do carnivorous plants capture their prey?

While many share similar ways of attracting and devouring their prey, each has a different trap. We will describe some of its strangest forms:

6 examples of carnivorous plants

1- Dionaea muscipula and Aldrovanda vesiculosa use a system called Venus flytrap , this is a method of attraction by which they use a sweet nectar that they have inside. Once the insect or prey feeds on the nectar, the plant closes off capturing its prey within it. Later, the insect moves to try to be released, but this only secretes more digestive juices that disintegrate the prey and favor the digestion of the plant.

2- Drosera, Byblis, Drosophyllum and Pinguicula . These plants have rosettes that are glued to the ground. They secrete a nectar that has a smell similar to honey. The insect, when landing on the leaf, remains attached to the sticky hairs of these plants. Then, the tentacles of these are curved until they capture the prey and devour it.

3- Heliamphora, Nepenthes, Sarracenia, Cephalotus, Darlingtonia and Brocchinia reducta use a method called fall traps . The plant or flower is shaped like a cup or vase. At the bottom of this there is a liquid in which the prey drown. Also, the edges of this glass have aromas that attract insects. In addition, these edges are slippery so insects land, slip and fall into the cup of water.

4- Utricularias use the most effective and fastest way of all; the mechanical traps . These plants are aquatic so they use the help of water. If a prey swims near one of these carnivorous plants, they open a hatch or hatch (which is usually tightly closed). By making a suction effect, the plant absorbs the water along with the fish that swim too close.

5- The Genlisea family are plants that only capture protozoa . These plants use a method known as a lobster trap – pot as they have Y-shaped leaves. This allows protozoa to enter but cannot get out of it. The prey enters and is forced to go to the stomach of the plant where it will be digested.

6- The Drosera glanduligera family combines claws and sticky hairs to capture their prey.

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