Drosera

These glistening plants of prey catch insects on tentacles tipped with gooey mucilage.  There can be dozens or even hundreds of traps per leaf.  Each tentacle is capable of movement and in most species so is the surface of the leaf.  There about 140 species from all around the world.  Several species, like Drosera capensis and D. regia have long leaves which can coil, snake-like, around the bugs they capture.

When a small insect lands on Drosera, the gooey material on the traps adhere to the bug.  As the creature moves, it gets coated in mucilage and the struggling only seems to speed the process until it drowns.  The traps collectively grip the body of the victim and press it firmly against the leaf surface to bring the victim in contact with the digestive glands.  These are glands are flat on the leaves, between the tentacles.  When the traps move prey onto the glands, they start secreting enzymes which breakdown the proteins so the nitrogen and other nutrients can be absorbed by the leaf.  In a few days the leaf will unfold and the indigestible portions might be washed from the leaf by rain.

Drosera brevifolia

Drosera filiformis

Drosera intermedia

Drosera madagascariensis

Drosera menziesii

Drosera paradoxa

Drosera regia

Drosera rotundifolia

Drosera slackii


Pygmy Drosera, section Bryastrum

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