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Capture Enhancement in a Carnivorous Aquatic Plant: Function of Antennae and Bristles in Utricularia vulgaris

Science
9 Mar 1979
Vol 203, Issue 4384
pp. 1022-1025

Abstract

Traps of the carnivorous hydrophyte Utricularia vulgaris Linnaeus (Lentibulariaceae) have structures termed antennae and bristles around their trapdoors that increase their rate of entrapment of the substrate-dwelling prey Chydorus sphaericus (Chydoridae, Crustacea). The kind and number of these structures are important in determining capture rate. Experimental data and corresponding behavioral observations support Darwin's hypothesis that antennae and bristles function as a "funnel" leading potential prey toward the trapdoor and their capture by offering the prey a favorable substrate that exploits their natural locomotor and feeding behavior.

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Published In

Science
Volume 203 | Issue 4384
9 March 1979

Submission history

Received: 25 July 1978
Published in print: 9 March 1979

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Authors

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Dewey G. Meyers
Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706
J. Rudi Strickler
Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520

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