Indian scientists have discovered glowing carnivorous plants that trap prey using electromagnetic radiation.
Carnivorous plants are plants that derive some or most of their nutrients from trapping and consuming animals, typically insects. They are known to attract insects with nectar, colours and smells and then trap and digest them.
Scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute in Kerala have discovered a new prey capture mechanism in some species. The research team discovered blue fluorescent emissions from certain carnivorous plants when tested in ultraviolet (UV) light.
The Indian team has found out about a new mechanism of trapping prey using electromagnetic radiation.
They found blue emissions, caused by molecular mechanisms, in “prey traps” of pitcher plants and in Venus flytraps.
Most insects and other arthropods can perceive UV regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
To potential prey, the blue fluorescent rings emitting from the pitcher plants’ peristomes may make attractive landing pads.
These fluorescent emissions would also be perceptible in low-light conditions, meaning they could also attract nocturnal prey.