The carnivorous plants, otherwise called the insectivorous plants, are known for their ability to trap and digest insects. Altogether over 450 species of carnivorous plants have been discovered. About 30 species are found in India.
The mode of catching prey is roughly four types. Some plants have sensitive glandular hair on the leaf surface known as tentacles secreting a sweet sticky fluid. An example of this variety is the sundew. The sweet sticky fluid glitters in the sun like dew-drops. An insect attracted by the glistening fluid is entangled in it.
The tentacles bend down and smother it to death. Then the plant digests the insect. It absorbs the protein from it and rejects the rest. It is noticed that if you poke the sundews tentacles with a hard object it does not react. However a piece of raw meat immediately induces movement.
Some of the insectivorous plants have special sensitive hairs know as trigger hairs on the leaf surface. The Venus fly-trap is one such plant and is found in USA in damp mossy plants which are frequented by insects. Its leaves are very beautiful with a red color and when an insect sits on it, the leaf closes and the plant digest its victim.
The third kind of insectivorous plants have leaves modified in to pictures. The pitcher plant found in India is an example of this variety. The upper part of the leaf which is very brightly colored is modified into a pitcher with a lid and contains a sticky liquid. Insects entering the pitcher drown in the liquid and are digested by the plant.
The fourth kinds of these plants are those whose leaves are modified into bladders. For example, the bladderwort. Some species are found in India and are either floating or submerged rootless aquatic plants. The leaves modified into bladders have a trap-door. The aquatic animals push in and then cannot get out as the trap-door opens only one way. They are then digested by the plant.
To know more -