International Carnivorous Plant Society

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Catapults into a deadly trap: The unique prey capture mechanism of Drosera glanduligera

Hartmeyer, Siegfried R.H. and Irmgard Hartmeyer and Tom Masselter and Robin Seidel and Thomas Speck and Simon Poppinga

Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 42(1):4-14
Published March 2013

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Abstract

Active trapping mechanisms constitute some of the most spectacular examples for how carnivorous plants catch their prey (Darwin 1875; Lloyd 1942; Juniper et al. 1989). Recently, we showed that the Pimpernel Sundew (Drosera glanduligera Lehm.) possesses active combined catapult-flypaper- traps which work with a sophisticated two-step mechanism (Poppinga et al. 2012): after mechanical stimulation, elongated marginal snap-tentacles at the trap periphery rapidly fling the prey, often with its dorsal side first, onto sticky glue-tentacles on the leaf blade within less than 1/10 second. Subsequently, stimulated mechanically by the impact, slower glue-tentacles lift the prey into a deeply concave leaf-center where digestion takes place. The snap-tentacles have been analyzed in respect to their kinematics, functional morphology and anatomy, and our observations confirm a complex adaptation to carnivory.

Keywords: catapult-flypaper-trap, cultivation, Drosera glanduligera, functional morphology, plant biomechanics, snap-tentacles

Article Citation

Hartmeyer, Siegfried R.H. and Irmgard Hartmeyer and Tom Masselter and Robin Seidel and Thomas Speck and Simon Poppinga. 2013. Catapults into a deadly trap: The unique prey capture mechanism of Drosera glanduligera. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 42(1):4-14.

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