Fly caught by Sundew plant

Fly caught by Sundew plant

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the leaf of a Cape sundew, Drosera capensis, showing a fly (family Psilidae) which has fallen victim to the insectivorous appetite of the plant. The sundew ensnares its victim by means of tentacles capped by globular sticky glands, which simultaneously attract the insect & hold it fast. The fly's struggles stimulate the tentacles, which slowly close in & clasp the prey. Enzymes are secreted to digest it. This mechanism has evolved to supplement the diet of the sundew, which grows in mineral-deficient uplands & bogs. Nitrogen in particular is obtained. Magnification: x7 at 35mm size, x54 at 8x10-inch size. Reference: MICROCOSMOS, figure 4.19, page 76.

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Keywords: botany, carnivorous plant, carnivorous plants, drosera, drosera capensis, fly, insectivorous plant, nature, plant, psilid, psilidae, scanning electron micrograph, sem, sundew

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