DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aphids trapped on sundew. Close-up of leaves of the cape sundew plant trapping rose aphids. The cape sundew (Drosera capensis) is a carnivorous plant which attracts and traps insects in its scented, sticky leaves. Here, several rose aphids (Macrosiphon rosae)are seen entangled in the red tentacles of the plant. After the insect lands on the plant, it is firmly bound by the sticky juices on the tips of the tentacles. As it struggles, nearby tentacles slowly bend towards the victim, further entrapping it. Enzymes are secreted which digest the insect. This mechanism supplements the diet of the sundew, which grows in mineral deficient areas such as uplands and bogs.
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