DR. JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Macrophotograph of an insectivorous plant, the Cape sundew, Drosera capensis, showing a hoverfly (family Syrphidae) caught fast by the plant. The sundew ensares its victims by means of tentacles capped by sticky glands, which simultaneously attract & capture the insect as it forages for food. Any subsequent struggle stimulates the tentacles, which slowly move in, further entangling the insect. Enzymes are secreted which digest the insect. This mechanism has evolved to supplement the diet of the sundew, which grows in mineral deficient environments such as uplands & bogs. Nitrogen in particular is obtained from the insect. Mag: X1.5 (35mm).
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