A few days ago (four to be exact) I posted about a couple of insects that encountered the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) in my bog garden and didn’t live to tell about it…
Today I am posting photos about another plant in my bog garden: a thread-leaved sundew (Drosera filiformis). Sundews (Drosera) secrete thick, sweet, sticky “glue” from stalked glands that cover their leaves (see the first photo below). These plants act like living flypaper: small flying insects are attracted to the glue and get stuck and subsequently digested. Like Venus flytraps, sundews grow in habitats that are low in nitrogen and phosphorus. Sundews trap and digest insects as a source of these nutrients.
There are almost 200 species of sundews. Most are low growing leaves that are flattened or spoon-shaped. Thethread-leaved sundew is different in that it has long, erect leaves that unroll in spirals similar to the fronds of a fern (see next photo below). A mature plant may grow to over a foot tall.
Taking these photos wasn’t challenging from a technical standpoint…it’s not like the plant was going to run away after all! I took the photo below last summer. The black insects are aphids, so this is just a little payback for all the nasturtiums in my garden that have been devastated by these little beasts…
I took the last two photos (below) just the other night. It was a beautiful warm evening with hardly any breeze. There were a lot of insects in the garden and the sundew had just trapped a couple of very small long-legged flies (family Dolichopodidae). These photos were a bit tricky as I was working at maximum magnification with limited depth of field and I needed to frame the shot with the struggling flies positioned perpendicular to the leaf. Note the remains of previously trapped insects in the first picture.
As always, I would value any comments. And if you haven’t already done so, please complete the polls I posted yesterday, it will only take a minute.
The technical stuff:
Camera: Olympus E-620 digital SLR
Lens: Zuiko 35mm macro
Settings manual exposure (F11 @ 1/125 sec)
Lighting: on-camera flash (diffused)
Settings manual exposure (F14 @ 1/125 sec)
Lighting: Olympus RF-11 ring flash (TTL)