Venus fly traps plants have evolved to lure insects into their trap, which is a modified leaf. The plant has sweet nectar that attracts the insects and the inside of the trap is lined with hair-like trigger hairs that when touched, release digestive enzymes and paralyzing toxins to immobilize and kill the prey.
Can Venus Fly Traps Eat Ants?
Venus fly traps are carnivorous plants that can eat ants. They have a sticky substance on their leaves that attracts the ants, and then they close up around the ant and digest it.
Venus flytraps are a carnivorous plant found in the wild only in boggy areas of North and South Carolina. In cultivation, however, they thrive in a wide range of environments. Venus flytraps use their spring-loaded leaves to snap shut on prey, and must capture a certain number of insects to produce their bright red blooms.
Venus flytraps grow in nutrient-poor soil and need a regular supply of protein for growth and reproduction. Their primary preys are ants, beetles, bugs, caterpillars, crickets, flies, grasshoppers, moths, spiders, and worms.
Venus fly traps, like all plants, cannot go out and catch their own food. They have to rely on the generosity of animals to bring them a meal. In exchange, they have evolved a number of interesting tactics to attract and capture prey.
The Venus fly trap has modified leaves that appear to be two-lobed hinged traps. Inside each lobe are three stiff, trigger hairs. When an insect or other small animal brushes against two of these hairs in succession within about 20 seconds, the trap snaps shut in less than a second.
The edges of the trap contain glands with sweet nectar that attracts prey. Once inside, it’s impossible for the bug to escape — there’s no easy way out for insects that lack thumbs or opposable digits. The bug is slowly digested over several days by enzymes secreted from the plant’s inner walls. During this time, it may still be alive and moving around inside the trap; hence its nickname: “the eating flower.”