International Carnivorous Plant Society

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Several pygmy Sundew species possess catapult-flypaper traps with repetitive function, indicating a possible evolutionary change into aquatic snap traps similar to Aldrovanda

Siegfried R. H. Hartmeyer and Irmgard Hartmeyer

Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 44(4):172-184
Published December 2015

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Abstract

Approximately 50 species of pygmy Sundews (genus Drosera, section Bryastrum) occur in the South of Australia and one each in New Zealand (D. pygmaea) and Venezuela (D. meristocaulis). They grow mainly as small stemless rosettes possessing minute trapping leaves of 1-2 mm diameter with prominent marginal tentacles, or have elongated erect stems. The caulescent species possess only mucus-producing tentacles that are most effective in capturing small flying insects. The acaulescent species in contrast are specialized on crawling prey (Verbeek & Boasson 1993) and have developed mucus-free snap-tentacles (Fig. 1), able to bend surprisingly rapidly towards the leaf center. They lift prey like, e.g. springtails (Collembola) from the ground and carry it with a 180°-movement from the periphery of the plant onto the sticky leaf.

Keywords: Drosera, pygmy Sundew, Aldrovanda, Dionaea, Droseraceae, Collembola, carnivorous plant, catapult-flypaper trap, snap trap, snap-tentacle, functional morphology, phylogeny

Article Citation

Siegfried R. H. Hartmeyer and Irmgard Hartmeyer. 2015. Several pygmy Sundew species possess catapult-flypaper traps with repetitive function, indicating a possible evolutionary change into aquatic snap traps similar to Aldrovanda. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 44(4):172-184.

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