The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Southern Portugal in 2011

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Richárd Novák had given me GPS coordinates for a Pinguicula lusitanica site, but navigation in Sintra is certainly not trivial. There are no straight drives--you simply get on a road, and if it wanders and winds in a direction that works for you, then it works. If not, you try another. Eventually, you try to reach to your goal. My GPS my map datum did not cover Portugal, so was not very helpful.

In time, we got close enough to my GPS target point to park the car and continue on foot. Soon after stopping, I smelled something bad--a nasty roadkill aroma was floating in the air. We traced the bouquet to a few of these horrifyingly lovely fungi, Clathrus ruber.

This fungus is not carnivorous, but rather it uses its odor to attract flies, which presumably help transport spores from place to place. You can see a few of the iridescent flies in this image.

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Revised: June 2011
©Barry Rice, 2005