CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Macrophotograph of a small red-eyed fly Drosophila sp. trapped on the sticky leaf surface of the carnivorous butterwort plant, Pinguicula vulgaris. The butterwort is a native of bogs, wet moors and heaths. It supplements these nitrogen deficient soils with a carnivorous diet. Numerous glands on the leaf surface secrete a sticky substance, which acts like fly paper. The edges of the leaf also fold inward, further securing any trapped insects. Digestive enzymes break down the insect's body while the nitrogen compounds and proteins that are digested are absorbed into the leaf.
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