Carnivorous Plants Website
Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness
by Makoto Honda

Carnivorous Plants Story

Picture book for a young audience / Kindle Edition

Makoto Honda

Copyright (c) 2013-2017 by Makoto Honda. All Rights Reserved.


Pitfall Traps  The simplest trap is a pitfall. The leaf has become a hollow tube, or a pitcher, which usually contains some fluids at the bottom. An insect is attracted to the pitcher because of its brilliant colors and sweet nectar. The edge of the pitcher opening is very slippery and often insects fall into the depth of the pitcher during the feeding. Once inside, it is almost impossible for the victim to climb out because of the down-pointing hairs growing on the inner surface of the pitcher tube. Thirty or so species of pitcher plants in North and South America, some 100 species of tropical pitcher plants mainly from the southeast Asia, and one species of Australian pitcher plant all use the pitfall trap to acquire animal prey.


The Western Australian pitcher plant Cephalotus.


A pitcher of the Western Australian pitcher plant Cephalotus. Ants are considered to be the main diet of this plant. The side wall is cut off (right) to reveal the interior of the pitcher. Note a heavy ridge on the inner wall to prevent the trapped prey from scaling.


The pitcher development sequence of the Western Australian pitcher plant, Cephalotus follicularis.


The Western Australian pitcher plant, Cephalotus.


Vigorous growth of tropical pitcher plants, Nepenthes.


Note a characteristic shape of the pitchers.


Colorful pitchers of tropical pitcher plants, Nepenthes.


Ants congregate around the pitcher peristome (opening) to sip sweet nectar. Note that the surface of the peristome is made of hard, ring-shaped ridges, making it very slippery for venturing insects.


"Be advised to watch your step!"


Colorful pitchers of tropical pitcher plants.


An army of small ants exploring nectar offerings of the pitcher.


Flowers of a tropical pitcher plant. This is a male tree producing a male flower.


A male flower of a tropical pitcher plant. Yellow pollen covers the anther of the flower. Tropical pitcher plant flowers are considered to be wind-pollinated.


Tropical pitcher plant - pitcher production sequence:  The hairy tip of the long tendril gradually swells and forms a pitcher. Note that the lid of the pitcher is closed until the pitcher is fully matured. The pitcher contains a sterile liquid.


A mature pitcher forming at the end of the long tendril. The lid is fully open, and the pitcher contains a small amount of liquid at the bottom.




Carnivorous Plants Story - Copyrighted Material
Copyright (c) 2013 by Makoto Honda. All Rights Reserved.

For a young audience, click here for
"Eaten Alive by Carnivorous Plants" by Kathleen J. Honda & Makoto Honda