Dionaea Traps Selectively Allow Small Animals to Escape.
Our prey capture experiments show that Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) selectively allow small animals to escape by a system of interlocking features that complement each other very efficiently. We documented ants of the species Lasius neglectus (length 3.5 mm) running continuously through open traps of Dionaea, established since more than 20 years outdoors in our garden. To achieve statistical relevant results, we did not only count, identify and measure captured prey. Other than in former publications, we counted also the escaped ants (15,000 after 28 days) to be able to calculate the risk for small ants visiting active traps. Surprisingly, their risk to get captured is 2.5 times lower (0.04%) than the risk of mortality by medical malpractice for a human in a German hospital (0.1%). None of the four single features of the interlocking "escape system" described here would alone be able to provide such an efficient sorting out of small animals.
This film is based on the same named publication in Carnivorous Plant Newsletter (December CPN, Vol. 48/4 - On the release of this film in September 2019 in press): Dionaea Traps Selectively Allow Small Animals to Escape by Siegfried R. H. Hartmeyer, Irmgard Hartmeyer and Emeritus Prof. Stephen E. Williams.