8 Carnivorous Plants That Eat Bugs
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Carnivorous plants are an inexhaustible source of fascination for scientists and non-scientists alike. These plants get their nutrients from capturing and digesting animals, usually insects and other arthropods. The possibility that plants can eat animals has been debated for many years and has inspired many books and movies.
Carnivorous plants are distributed in various taxa of the angiosperm clade, linked by the phytocarnivore niche. True carnivores are thought to have more than a dozen genera and have evolved independently about a dozen times in five distinct orders of flowering plants.
Aspects of their evolution, including rapid responses to nutrient demands and additions, and developmental preformation, make carnivorous plants well suited to address fundamental questions in biology, such as dietary preference and population prediction.
This article examines some carnivorous plants that eat bugs.
|color variety||red, white and green|
|high||6-12 inches (15-30 cm)|
Venus flytrap is one of the most common carnivorous plants in subtropical wetlands. Its main prey include insects and spiders. It has a decoy structure formed by the terminal part of the leaf, which is usually triggered by sensitive microreceptors on its inner surface. As the unsuspecting bug crawls along the leaf and its fine hairs, action potentials are triggered through the electrical grid.
2. Purple Nepenthes
|scientific name||Nori Sarracenia|
|color variety||green, red and purple|
|Habitat||Prefers a moist sunny location and grows in nutrient-poor acidic swamps|
Nepenthes purple is a carnivorous plant in the Sarracenia family. Like other pitcher plants, Sarracenia obtains its nutrition by capturing prey. It catches unsuspecting bugs with traps that rely heavily on microstructured smooth surfaces.
3. Cobra Lily
|scientific name||california darlington flower|
|color variety||ranges from yellow to purple-green|
|high||grows to about 2 feet tall|
|Habitat||Native to the swamps of southern Oregon and the mountains of northern California|
Cobra lily, best known by its name Nepenthes california, is a carnivorous plant in the Sarracenia family . It is commonly found in swamps and seeps with cold water flowing. Unlike other members of the pitcher plant family, Darlingtonia californica has a distinctly closed top and does not collect water, a mechanism other pitcher plants use to produce digestive juices that dissolve insects. Conversely, cobra lilies are well suited to physiologically pump water into the trap to keep the fluid at an ideal ion concentration.
The translucent cobra lily leaves often confuse bugs. Unsuspecting bugs think they are fleeing the trap, when in reality, they are moving deeper.
4. Yellow Nepenthes
|scientific name||Yellow Sarracenia|
|color variety||Has bright yellow flowers and green trumpet-shaped leaves|
|Habitat||Wet pine forests and swamps|
Yellow pitcher plant is another species of pitcher plant in the Sarracenia family. Like most pitcher plants, it uses its curled leaves to trap bugs. Its leaves are filled with rainwater, and the uppermost part of the leaf is expanded to prevent excess rainwater from diluting the digestive secretions inside the pitcher. Once a bug flies in, it can't fly out.
5. Monkey Cup
|color variety||green, brown and red|
|high||Climbing stems can grow up to 49 feet, depending on type|
|Habitat||Tropical regions of Southeast Asia, Australia, and Madagascar|
Monkey pitcher plant, also known as tropical pitcher plant, is an insectivorous plant of the genus Nepenthes in the family Nepenthes. The name "monkey cup" comes from the fact that monkeys are thought to drink rainwater from these pitcher plants.
The money cup acts as a passive bug trap, producing a large amount of digestive enzymes to break down bugs and obtain nutrients through enzymatic digestion.
6. Butter Grass
|color variety||blue, purple, or white with yellow, green, or red tinges|
|high||2-6 inches in bloom|
|Habitat||Damp areas such as swamps, swamps, damp heather, and rock crevasses|
Wormwood is an insectivorous plant in the lentil family . Its sticky hairs help lure, trap and digest bugs. In addition to eating bugs, buttergrass also gets its nutrients from the pollen that falls on its leaves. It is thought that the Pinguicula glands undergo autophagy as a result of capturing prey.
7. Alice Moutai
|color variety||red, orange, yellow or metallic purple|
|high||up to 10 inches|
|Habitat||Prefers moist habitats with acidic soils. South Africa,|
Drosera is a carnivorous plant in the sundew family. Along with Drosera capensis, Drosera aliciae is one of the most commonly cultivated sundews. It produces attractive red flowers, which play a key role in attracting bugs.
Thirsty bugs are attracted to what look like raindrops on the leaves. However, the watery substance is actually a jelly-like substance that traps insects. After digesting the prey, the leaves unfold to set another trap.
8. Big floating bag grass
|Big floating laver|
|color variety||bright yellow flowers|
|high||about 8 – 40 inches|
|Habitat||Aquatic environments such as swamps, ditches and lakes|
Large floating water plant, commonly known as swelling water plant or swollen water plant, is a large aquatic carnivorous plant of the lentil family Phytaceae . Washington state lists it as one of the most problematic aquatic plants because of its dense mat-forming habit. It is one of the few invasive carnivorous plants.
Bladderworts have pouch bladders that serve as traps. They are about the size of a pinhead and are used to catch very small animals such as tiny crustaceans, newly hatched tadpoles and mosquito larvae.
- Top 10 Carnivorous Plants That Eat Bugs
- Largest species of carnivorous plant discovered
- Do Venus Flytraps Eat Wasps?
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- University of Arkansas Department of Agriculture, available here: https://www.uaex.uada.edu/yard-garden/resource-library/plant-week/lily-cobra-9-2-11.aspx
- USDA, available here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/sarracenia_flava.shtml
- Missouri Department of Conservation, available here: https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/bladderworts
- National Library of Medicine, available here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2634039/