In The Beginning
Adapt To Trap
What's For Dinner
This Is The Life
It's A Venus Fly Trap
Fun Facts
What Does It Mean
Thanks For The Help
The Creator

Venus Fly Trap 
People are fascinated with the mystique that surrounds "man-eating plants".  Old movies typically come to mind, featuring an enormous green plant crawling out of the jungle toward a group of hysteric people running for their lives.  Do you know the ones I'm talking about?  Just for fun, check out this clip! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDHMhSgIdiY

Venus Fly Traps
Photo - Carnivorous Plant Dionaea by Makoto Honda

But the Venus Fly Trap?  It wouldn't hurt a fly!  Well, actually it would, but it would never harm a human, much less eat one.  In fact, Charles Darwin called it "the most wonderful plant in the world."

Now that your initial fear has been lifted, lets begin with the classification of the Venus Fly Trap.

Classification of Dionaea muscipula

Common Name Venus Fly Trap
Domain - Eukarya They are multicellular organisms containing membrane-bound organelles.
Kingdom - Plantae  All are photosynthetic and sexually reproducing with an alternation of generations between gametophyte and sporophyte.
Phylum - Anthophyta   Flowers are produced by these organisms and double fertilization is a characteristic of reproduction.
Class - Magnoliopsida They are dicots.
Order - Caryophyllales They have free-central or basal placentation.
Family - Droseraceae They are carnivorous plants that use traps to catch their prey.
Genus - Dionaea All have marginal spines that assist in catching their prey.
Species - Dionaea muscipula This is a monotypical species.

The Venus Fly Trap is also a member of the Choripetalae group.
This group has two specific characteristics.  Firstly, the petals of flowers are not joined together.  Secondly, the flowers have radial  symmetry.  A picture of a Venus Fly Trap's flower is shown below.  Can you identify its characteristics of this group?

Flower of the Venus Fly Trap
Photo - Carnivorous Plant Dionaea by Makoto Honda

Want more information?  Check out the phylogenetic tree.


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The Creator

Kristi Knoblauch
University of Wisconsin La-Crosse
Organismal Biology 203
Last Updated : 27 April 2007
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Kristi Knoblauch

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