Do Insects Pollinate Venus Flytraps?
When considering all humans alive on the planet today, Americans consume much more animal flesh than the rest of the world’s population. When considering plants, Venus flytraps consume more flesh than the rest of the world’s vegetation. Venus flytraps are exceptionally rare as a plant species. These plants grow only in their native North and South Carolina. Venus flytraps are well known for possessing jaw-like structures, which snap in response to nearby insects. These carnivorous plants feed on invertebrates, most of which are insects like flies and ants. Once this plant snatches an insect in its jaws, the insect liquefies into something akin to a nutrient shake. There are six hundred species of carnivorous plants alive today, but only Venus flytraps can consume flying insects right out of the air with a jaw-like feature. Beyond this, not much is known about these frightening plants. However, a recent study concerning Venus flytrap pollination has recently been carried out by researchers. This study has finally allowed researchers to gain a better understanding regarding the Venus flytrap’s diet.
Researchers have long been curious about which insects pollinate Venus flytraps. Since these plants prefer to eat insects, it is a wonder that any insect could get close enough to pollinate one of these aggressive plants. A group of academics have recently ventured out to an area rich in Venus flytrap plants in order to conduct the first ever research into this plant’s diet. In order to see what the plants were digesting, the researchers pulled the plant’s jaws open. The researchers were amazed at the diversity of animal life that had been found in all of the studied flytraps. Four hundred different pollinating insects were found in the plant’s digestive system. Of those four hundred insects, one hundred of them were distinct insect species. The researchers were also able to determine which insect species pollinated the plants the most. Sweat bees and long horned beetles both pollinated the flytraps more often than any other insect species. The long horned beetle is the flytrap’s most important pollinator, as it can carry the greatest amount of pollen. The Venus flytrap is currently being petitioned for inclusion on the endangered species list.
Have you ever seen a Venus flytrap in its natural habitat? Do you think that pollinating insects could ever learn to avoid the carnivorous flytraps on account of the danger they pose?