The tricks of carnivorous plants


Safe from predators and rain are woolly bats in the pitchers of the carnivore species Nepenthes hemsleyana. They leave behind their nutrient-rich droppings for the benefit of the plant.
©Chien C Lee

Plant carnivores have developed sophisticated methods to attract and digest insects - a good strategy for survival in nutrient-poor soils.


Offer a place to sleep, look for feces! – this is how the carnivorous plant Nepenthes hemsleyana attracts woolly bats to its pitchers. And they willingly leave their rent payment there after slipping in and taking a nap. In most pitcher plants, which are all carnivores, in the course of evolutionary processes a simple leaf has formed into an extravagant vessel that, filled with digestive juice, waits for insects and small arthropods to fall in – a wet grave. However, biologists recently made a surprising observation: some pitcher plants have mated with an animal partner

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