The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Southern Portugal in 2011

The Trip:
Portugal is home to a fairly small number of carnivorous plants. However, the few carnivorous plant species it has, it has well! Of course, foremost in the minds of carnivorous plant aficionados is that this is often thought of as the home of the spectacular sticky-trap plant, Drosophyllum lusitanicum.

This plant has a unique trapping mechanism. Many people think of it as merely being another sticky-flypaper plant, such as Drosera and other genera. But Drosophyllum is different. Instead of trapping bugs by holding them tightly to the plant, Drosophyllum vomits globs of mucous onto its prey but allows the prey to move on (if it so chooses). Bugs being bugs, the prey inevitably try to clean themselves off, and in the process come into contact with more glands. In time, the bug tumbles down the nearly vertical leaves, until it becomes covered with slime and drowns.

How horrible!

This trip report includes video, in addition to the photography. This is the first time I have tried video, and I hope you enjoy the YouTube links provided throughout. My video work is, shall we kindly say, primitive. However, perhaps it adds a bit more to the trip report, in spite of its glaring weaknesses?

Start the photo-essay about Portugal!


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Revised: June 2011
©Barry Rice, 2005