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Carnivorous Plants - Pinguicula primuliflora
by Makoto Honda
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A small ant struggles to free itself from the mucilage on the leaf surface of Pinguicula primuliflora.

Freedom seems so near, just an arm's length away, yet so far....

Powerful mucilage from the stalked glands easily detaches itself from the glands
and stays attached to the ant's body.

A glue firmly holds an ant's leg.....

10 hours later............   The exhausted ant knees down.
Once dry leaf surface is now covered with digestive secretions from sessile glands.
The digestive fluid secretions of the sessile glands is known to be initiated
by physical stimulation to the stalked glands nearby.
A slight "dishing" of the leaf surface helps to hold the secretions in place around the prey.

The ant lies in the pool of digestive fluids.... The game is over.
It is amazing that the mucilage is strong enough to retain such animals as an ant
which walks a million steps daily and I presume has very strong legs!

Four days later...  The fluids had entered the ant's body
and the digested materials have been swiftly absorbed back into the leaf tissue.
Chitinous exoskeleton of the prey is left on the now dry leaf surface.
The antiseptic properties of the digestive enzyme successfully prevented the bacterial contamination
during the entire digestive process.

Another visitor : Standing high............ "How come the floor is wet? Does anyone know?..."

Stalked glands with a near-perfect spherical mucilage.
Sessile glands (stalkless) are seen on the leaf surface (darker disk-like objects)



Two stalked glands with mucilage removed.



Leaf section

Hairs along the leaf center....  appears multi-cellular.

Glandular hairs on the flower stem of P. primuliflora

 

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Copyright 2001-2017 Makoto Honda. All Rights Reserved.                                       www.iCarnivorousPlants.com                                       since June 2001