Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)




College of Science

First Advisor

John J. Hutchens, Jr.


Venus fly traps (Dionaea muscipula Ellis) are carnivorous plants that live in nutrient poor soils and must digest insects to supplement their diets. When a Venus fly trap captures an insect, the plant's traps do not fully close for several minutes, which may allow small prey to escape. It would be beneficial for the plant to consume a large, nutrient-rich prey item as opposed to a small prey item. We tested the hypothesis that Venus fly traps select larger prey by offering plants small and large crickets. A Kruskal-Wallis test and Wilcoxon signed rank test were used to test significance of the results. These tests showed that the plants did not select prey based on size and instead captured and digested prey opportunistically.

Included in

Biology Commons