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Fly caught in sundew, SEM

Fly caught in sundew, SEM

B610/0171

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Credit

DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Fly trapped in sundew. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a fly trapped on a leaf of Cape sundew (Drosera capensis). Sundew ensnares its prey by means of tentacles (purple) topped with globular sticky glands (red). Glue strands (lower left & right) simultaneously attract and hold the insect fast. Subsequent struggle stimulates the tentacles, which slowly move in, entangling the insect. Enzymes are secreted to digest the insect's body. This mechanism has evolved to supplement the diet of the sundew, which grows in mineral-deficient environments such as uplands and bogs. Magnification: x30 when printed 10cm wide.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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