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ABACUS

Some microscope shots

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Here are some microscope shots of my Genlisea...

I find it hard to take these pictures because the outer cells have air pockets that reflect a lot of the light. It's like trying to take a picture through bubblewrap.

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Subterranean leaf. A stalk gland seems to seal the trap above and below the opening.

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A view of the stalk gland.

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External stalk gland. I always see a lot of stuff stuck to them.

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Another group of stalk glands.

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The tube between the leaf and the bulb of the plant.

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Typical Genlisea prey in the bulb.

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Hello Abacus,

Very nice microscope photographs! You can get over the reflection of air-bubbles in the outer epidermis of the leaf, if you either fix your fresh traps in alcohol for a few hours (and then make the slide using alcohol not water), or if you use fresh material in lactic acid, not water.

The sencond photo that you labelled "stalked gland" shows almost every anatomical feature of the apical part of a Genlisea trap. You can see the short retentive hairs ("teeth"), the longer retentive hairs on the left, the red round thing in the middle is a prey item (most likely a mite), and these bivalvate organs ("coffea beans") are internal bifid trap glands, which create a shallow water flow inside the trap. And the spiral line that crosses the picture in the upper part is a xylem vessel.

The "stalked glands" you observed below and above the opening are what can be termed "spacer cells".

On the 5th and 6th photo, you can see the digestive glands (quadrifid glands), and the latter photo also shows maybe the most common prey of cultivated Genlisea: soil inhabiting mites. Especially in species with larger traps, I found soil mites to be almost the soil prey item. But interestingly, mites make only a tiny percentage of the prey spectrum of traps in the wild.

All the best,

Andreas

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