|If you're ever on a
botanical themed Jeopardy, here's all the facts you'll need to know
about Dionaea muscipula.
The Venus Fly Trap was the first plant
that was thought to be carnivorous. In fact, many botanists
rejected this idea, including Carl Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy.
(Want to know more about history? Look here!
In the Beginning ).
The species, Dionaea muscipula
is becoming extinct. Their specific habitat of bogs are now
the sites for dumping trash, which results in the killing of many plants. In
addition, many people illegally uproot these plants to grow in their own
(For more information about habitat, check out the
During the open phase, the trap
angle is between 40 - 50 degrees. (For more information click on the
Adapt to Trap page).
The bugs can bite back! In the springtime, the
Venus Fly Trap can be killed by the very insects it eats. Aphids
can infect the plant and slowly kill it. Also, grasshoppers and
caterpillars can eat parts of the plant, but this is uncommon. If
one of these insects is bigger than a third of the size of the trap, it
can cause severe leaf burn, stressing and killing it while the
plant tries to devour it.
Venus Fly Traps are health nuts. If you feed it a
hamburger, the protein and fat-based meat will rot the plant, eventually
Venus Fly Traps can go without eating for 1-2 months!
So, if you are growing your own, never feed it more than once a week.
In fact, the optimal period for feeding is every
Scientists Stuhlman and Daren studied
that when a Venus Fly Trap is stimulated, an electrical voltage is
produced. "The action potential (voltage) runs a course
characteristic of mammalian nerves in normal physiological function."
Photo - Carnivorous Plant Dionaea by Makoto Honda
After each capture, the trap remains closed for a period
of 1-2 weeks. In addition, each trap has a limit of 3-4 closures. At this point in the
plant's life, they can no longer utilize the trapping feature. (For
details about the trapping mechanism, take a look at the
Adapt to Trap page).
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