Venus Flytrap

The Venus Fly Trap is a carnivorous plant native to nitrogen poor environments. All questions about Venus Flytraps can be directed here.

2,068 Questions
Venus Flytrap

Why do Venus Flytraps eat flies?

Venus Flytraps are carnivores. Carnivores eat meat. The Venus Flytrap is forced to eat flies as there is not enough nutrients in its boggy environment.

Venus Flytraps and other insectivorous plants usually grow in peat bogs or other locations that are very poor in nitrogen. The bug eating adaptation is a way for the plant to supplement its nitrogen intake.

It's not just flies. Venus fly traps will consume anything they can trap in their specialized leaves. The protein and nutrients found in insects and even small amphibians provides a boost for the plant which traditionally grows in soil of very poor quality.

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Photosynthesis
Venus Flytrap

Does a Venus Flytrap use photosynthesis?

Venus flytraps get their energy from sugars produced by photosynthesis within their leaves.

They eat insects as a source of nutrients, particularly nitrogen, because the soils where they live are lacking in this nutrient.

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Venus Flytrap

What kind of weather does the Venus Flytrap deal with?

They typically live with rainy, stormish weather as most live in rain-forests.

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Venus Flytrap
Pitcher Plants

How is the Venus Flytrap and Pitcher plant homologous?

They both have the trait of using their modified leaves to trap insects, and have inherited this trait from a common ancestor.

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Venus Flytrap

What adaptations does the Venus Flytrap have to survive in its environment?

It lives in places where there are low mineral levels in the soil, so it gathers these vital nutrients from catching and digesting insects.

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Environmental Issues
Insects
Venus Flytrap

How do you make an insect trap?

Put some honey on a saucer and then place it on a table or counter, or the floor. Most likely you will catch some flies if it is higher up and roaches if it is closer to the floor. You may also catch ants this way.

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Zoology or Animal Biology
Venus Flytrap

What is a Venus Flytrap?

An insectivorous plant (Dionaea muscipula) of the coastal plain of the Carolinas, having sensitive, hinged, marginally bristled, two-lobed leaf blades that close and entrap insects.

It has traps and has tiny hairs (censors) on the inside of the traps. Flies and bugs are attracted to the scent of them, so when they land on a censor the trap shuts, eats, and then it will digest the fly or bug using special enzymes.
The Venus Fly Trap - is a carnivorous plant. Its leaves form two halves of a hinged 'trap'. When an insect crawls over the surface, it trips 'trigger hairs' on the leaf, which snaps shut in a split-second. The insect is then dissolved by digestive enzymes.

See the related link for a photograph in Wikipedia.

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Venus Flytrap

How does the Venus Flytrap trap flies?

The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) attracts insects onto its paired multicolor leaves, which then snap shut, trapping the insect in a "cage" between them.

Flies and insects are attracted to the Venus Flytrap's bright colours and scent. There are stiff "spikes" along the edges of the plant's leaves, which combine to form a barred cage when they rapidly fold together. This is triggered by tiny hairs in its trap: when a fly triggers two hairs in quick succession, the trap closes almost instantaneously. Unable to escape, the fly is slowly digested by enzymes in the leaves.

Trigger Mechanism

The cells along the top of the hinge (along the inside of the trap) can quickly 'deflate' when they receive the signal from any 2 of the 6 trigger hairs on the inside surface. The trigger hairs send a signal when they are bent over by any mechanical pressure such as a bug brushing against them. The mechanism for 'deflating' is rapid loss of turgor pressure by the opening of ion channels in the cell membrane of those cells on the top surface of the hinge allowing water to rush out.

It is likely that 2 hairs need to be bent to prevent false alarms from rain drops hitting the hairs. The margins of the traps are guarded by bristles that serve 2 functions: they keep bugs that are too big from entering the trap and they prevent escape of bugs that have triggered the trap during the brief period that it takes for the trap to close.

After the trap closes, continued struggling stimulates cell growth that causes the trap to close tighter--sometimes until the guard bristles point outward. This forms a very tight seal and preserves moisture and enzymes that digest the bug. The plant senses both mechanically and chemically if it has a living or nonliving thing in its trap. If it caught something worth eating, it will create an airtight seal, suffocate or drown the bug, and start digesting it. The plant absorbs the nitrogen compounds from the bug to make up for the nitrogen-poor bog soil where it grows.

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Venus Flytrap

What genus do Venus Flytraps belong to?

They belong to the Dionaea Genus.

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Venus Flytrap

Can a Venus Flytrap eat a bird?

No. Venus Flytraps can only eat small insects like flies.

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Houseplants
Planet Venus
Carnivorous & Parasitic Plants
Venus Flytrap

How did the Venus Flytrap get its name?

The name "Venus" refers to the Greek goddess of Love. Many people often say that love is a trap because people will do anything for it, and in this case, it is a deadly one! It is not people who are in love this time, but the poor little insects. Most Venus fly traps have a lovely, red "mouth" which is extremely appealing to flies and other bugs, even small animals such as frogs. However, when they get just a bit too close, they trigger little hairs on the inside of the trap and it snaps shut. What seemed so alluring just moments ago, now has brought those insects to their death. I can only suppose that the person who named the plant did not have very good experiences with love!

The Latin or scientific name for the Venus Flytrap is Dionaea muscipula.

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Venus Flytrap

How is the Venus Flytrap adapted to its environment?

Carnivorous plants are adapted to particular nutrient poor environments, e.g. acidic bogs, because they gain important nutrients by capturing animals.

Different carnivorous plants have different capture mechanism that are adapted to particular types of prey, with the Venus Flytrap being adapted to somewhat larger prey with the caging capture mechanism as compared to sticky traps of other relatives.

Carnivorous plants have also developed specific digestive mechanism to achieve their carnivorous adaptation.

The mechanisms that trigger closure of the trap show some sophisticated prey selection adaptations so that closure occurs due to characteristic moments of live prey and not random litter. Further, closure is maintained due to adaptations sensing motion of captured prey.

The Venus flytrap tolerates fire well and native populations depends on periodic burning to suppress competition as well as return nutrients to the enviroment.

Venus Flytraps derive important nutrients (but not energy) by consuming ants, spiders, beetles, and grasshoppers and flying insects.The food value lies primarily in the nitrogen and phosphorus containing compounds in these animals. The great majority of energy obtained by the plant is through the normal process of photosynthesis, but the adaptation of being carnivorous provides critical missing nutrients.

The Venus Flytrap and other carnivorous plants, e.g. the Pitcher plant, are adapted to grow in places where the soil poor and deficient in certain nutrients, especially nitrogen, such as acidic bogs and rock outcroppings.

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Venus Flytrap
Botany or Plant Biology

What plants reproduce by spores and not seeds?

fungi

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Zoology or Animal Biology
Venus Flytrap

Why is the Venus Flytrap called the Venus Flytrap?

The Venus Fly Trap was named after Venus, the goddess of love.

It seems the namer had a cynical view of romance and felt that temptation and entrapment were part of the goddess's skills.

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Planet Venus
Aphrodite (Venus)
Venus Flytrap

Can you live on Venus?

Not under the existing environmental conditions.

The planet Venus has many of the elements found on Earth, but conditions there are not hospitable to human life. It is too hot (average 464 °C or 867°F) and the carbon dioxide atmosphere has a crushing pressure nearly 100 times that at sea level on Earth (92 bar). Under these conditions, there is also no liquid water on the planet's surface, and the only "rain" (high up in the atmosphere) consists of sulfuric acid!

Floating Cities

Several novel proposals have suggested establishing aerial colonies 50 kilometers above the surface, where the temperature and pressure are closer to Earth's.

(see related link below)

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Venus Flytrap

Is a Venus Flytrap good for catching bugs?

Yes, Venus Flytraps are good at catching and eating insects.

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Venus Flytrap

What are the spines on the Venus Flytrap for?

Those spines create a 'cage like structure' to enclose its pray in. When a fly enters one of the Venus Flytrap's trigger mouths, the cage closes in on the fly and slowly digests it over the course of around 10 days.

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Venus Flytrap

What are some adaptations of a Venus Flytrap?

Its structural adaptationsLeaf Base
  • Venus fly-traps have two leaf parts: a leaf base and a leaf blade. A Venus fly-trap grows out of the ground with its broad and flat leaf base, which carries out photosynthesis.

Trapping Mechanism

  • The second leaf part of a Venus fly-trap is its trapping mechanism, also referred to as the trap, leaf-blade or lamina.

    Ends of leaves are composed of two lobes hinged together that can open and close in order to trap a small insect.

Trigger Hairs

  • Venus fly-traps usually have several trigger hairs growing on each trap lobe. When an insect lands on a Venus fly-trap and moves around, trigger hairs know that it is live prey that can be trapped and eaten.

Venus Fly-trap Teeth

  • The egdes of a Venus fly-trap have teeth and look fingerlike. The teeth lace together when an insect is trapped by the plant.

Petiole

  • The two leaf parts of a Venus fly-trap, the leaf blade and leaf base, are joined together by a small stalk called the petiole.

They have many sensitive trigger hairs.

The Venus Flytrap attracts insects to it by its bright colour and scent. When an animal triggers 2 of its trigger hairs inside one of its mouths (leaves) the trap shuts tight and the animal/insect is slowly digested over a period of around 10 days.
acid of the mouth, sharpe bendable teeth, and green coding.
Since the Venus fly trap lives in boggy, wet habitats, they have had to adapt to survive and live there. Venus fly traps have special hairs inside the trap that once touched, trigger the trap to suddenly shut. If the fly inside is caught, enzymes will digest the pray to get much needed vitamins that the bog does not have. The flies think the trap is a flower and fly into it without a second thought.

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Venus Flytrap

How does the Venus Flytrap reproduce?

Not every plant has seeds, but Venus Flytraps can be grown from seeds, although they may take several years to mature. They usually reproduce by division.

The Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) not only consumes insects for food, it also needs insects for pollination to make a new generation. In order to attract the insects, the mature Venus Flytrap will grow a very long stalk so that the insects won't get accidentally eaten. On top of these stalks grow white flowers that secrete sweet-smelling chemicals, pollen and seeds that are 1 mm long. The Venus Flytrap has to be several years old before it has enough energy to devote to making flowers and seeds. The insects attracted to the flowers walk over the stamen (the male part of a plant located at the tips of the filaments) and transfer that pollen to the pistil (the female part of the flower located deep in the center). Gardeners can fertilize their Venus Flytraps by taking a cotton swab, rubbing the fuzzy stamen and then rubbing that pollen in the pistil. In a few weeks, the flowers die, but the fertilized seeds remain, drop into the soil and grow.

Venus Flytraps reproduce like any other plant; with pollen grains and stigma to fertilize seeds.
There are seedlings wich form in the fly trap's pod when wind blows the seedlings are deposited to the soil and that is the TRUTH!

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Garden Pests
Venus Flytrap

Does Bunnings sell Venus Flytraps?

Yes, Bunnings does sell Venus Flytraps.

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Houseplants
Venus Flytrap

What is the adaptation of money plant?

It stores water in any of their body parts, i.e. leaves, stems and roots.

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Botany or Plant Biology
Venus Flytrap

What does the Venus Flytrap need to survive?

Venus Flytraps mainly need very bright light. The soil they are planted in should be moist. They can survive without insects though. If you want to feed a flytrap, 2-3 insects per month should be enough. However, looking after a Venus Flytrap is very tricky. All carnivorous plants are rather hard to care for. Don't be surprised if your first one dies and you don't know why.

Flytraps need water (not tap-water), nutrition from the earth, and bugs to 'eat'.

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Venus Flytrap

What do baby Venus Flytraps look like?

They basically look the same as a fully grown Venus Flytrap, except smaller.

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Venus Flytrap

How does a Venus Flytrap help us?

The Venus Flytrap helps us by eating pesky bugs like flies.

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Venus Flytrap

What will happen if a Venus Flytrap bites another Venus Flytrap?

Biting is not the best term to describe the process where a Venus Flytrap captures its prey. It is more of a process of trapping and requires small prey. It could not function on another plant.

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