Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)




College of Science

First Advisor

John J. Hutchens, Jr.


The feeding response of Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) is widely studied, and many studies have considered the selectivity of prey capture in D. muscipula (Lichtner and Williams, 1977; Hutchens and Luken, 2009). The consumption rate of an organism relative to the abundance or availability of its food is known as that organism's functional response (Jeschke et al., 2004). In this study, a functional response curve will be constructed for D. muscipula based on its response to increasing availability of small prey in the laboratory. Knowledge of functional responses is important for various fields of biology including population biology, evolutionary biology, ethology, and physiology because functional responses can provide a wide variety of information such as fitness and mortality risk (Jeschke et al., 2004). This study will hopefully provide a better understanding of the intricate relationship between Venus flytraps and their prey. I predict that Venus flytraps will elicit a type I functional response because they can capture prey while handling other food items and seem to be able to obtain food items at a maximum rate until all traps are full. These are conditions that must be met for a type I response (Jeschke et al., 2004). In this study, ants will be provided as prey for Venus flytraps to determine the type of functional response exhibited by the plants.

Included in

Biology Commons