Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
College of Science
John J. Hutchens, Jr.
Carnivorous plants are able to attract, trap, and digest insects. Different types of traps target different prey. There are sticky traps, pitfall traps, and active steel traps (Gibson, 1991). Although this may seem to be a rare modification it appears that there are six origins of carnivorous plants in different groups of angiosperms (Albert et al., 1992). These results indicate that not only were there multiple origins of carnivorous plants, there were also multiple origins of the same trapping mechanism; for example, the flypaper trap has five origins and the pitcher trap has three (Albert et al., 1992). Multiple origins indicate that there were similar environmental factors that caused these plants to evolve carnivory. In my experiment, I will remove the cilia from Venus flytraps, which I hypothesize will not have an effect on the overall prey capture rate of the plant or length or prey captured. It has been suggested that the traps have evolved red coloration because the target prey could be "red-blind", camouflaging the trap in a green environment (Jürgens et al., 2009). The cilia could function as camouflaging the trap in the environment as well.
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Marchini, Emily, "Prey Capture in Response to Removing Cilia from Venus Flytraps" (2013). Honors Theses. 32.