DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Macrophotograph of the insectivorous plant Venus fly trap, Dionaea muscipula, showing the head & antennae of an oak bush cricket Meconema thalassinum trapped in a leaf. The leaves are designed like a sophisticated mechanical trap; they are two-lobed, with a central rib that functions like a hinge. The edge of each lobe has long thin spines which interlock to form a prison when the lobes close on an insect. The closure of the leaf is triggered by three touch-sensitive hairs on the inner surface of each lobe. The leaf secretes an enzyme which decomposes the soft parts of the insect, releasing carbon & nitrogen for the plant's use. Magnification: x2 at 35mm size.
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