The key difference between pitcher plant and venus flytrap is that the pitcher plant is a carnivore plant that uses pitfall traps to capture prey, while the venus flytrap is a carnivore plant that uses snap traps to capture prey.
Carnivorous plants or insectivorous plants are specially adapted for capturing and digesting insects and other animals. They contain ingenious pitfalls and other traps to capture prey. More than 600 known species of carnivorous plants make up a very diverse group in classification. Sometimes the species in this group have little more in common than their carnivorous habits. The species of this group have a variety of trapping mechanisms. These trapping mechanisms are designated as active or passive based on whether they move to capture prey or not.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Pitcher Plant
3. What is Venus Flytrap
4. Similarities – Pitcher Plant and Venus Flytrap
5. Pitcher Plant vs Venus Flytrap in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Pitcher Plant vs Venus Flytrap
What is Pitcher Plant?
The pitcher plant is a carnivore plant that uses pitfall traps to capture prey. It is any carnivorous plant with pitcher-shaped leaves. These pitcher shaped leaves form a passive pitfall trap. The old-world pitcher plants belong to the family of Nepenthaceae (order Caryophyllales). On the other hand, the new-world pitcher plants belong to the family Sarraceniaceae (order Ericales). The Western Australian pitcher plant is the only species that belongs to the family Cephalotaceae (order Oxalidales). Usually, pitcher plants are found in a diverse range of habitats with poor soil conditions, from pine barrens to sandy coastal swamps. Therefore, pitcher plants rely on carnivory to obtain nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus.
The members of the family Nepenthaceae can be found in Madagascar, Southeast Asia, and Australia. These pitcher plants grow in very acidic soils. The lid of the pitcher secrets nectar to attract prey like insects and rodents. The slender pitcher plant is a very popular carnivorous plant in this family. The members of the family Sarraceniaceae are distributed in North America, the Guiana Highlands in South America. These members commonly inhabit bogs, swamps, wet/sandy meadows, and savannas. The soil of these areas is water-saturated, acidic, and deficient in nutrients. Moreover, the carnivorous traps typically resemble the trumpets, pitchers or urns that capture insects. Sweet pitcher plants and crimson pitcher plants are popular members of this family.
What is Venus Flytrap?
Venus flytrap is a carnivore plant that uses snap traps to capture prey. Venus flytrap is a perennial carnivorous plant of the sundew family (Droseraceae). This plant is very popular for its unusual habit of catching and digesting insects and other small animals. Venus flytrap is a plant that is native to a small region of North and South Carolina of the United States of America. Venus flytrap is commonly found in damp mossy areas.
Furthermore, venus fly traps do not rely on carnivory for energy. It only uses nitrogen-rich animal proteins to enable their survival in marginal nutrient-deficient soil conditions. This plant has 3-6 inches long leaves. The leaves have blades that are hinged along the midline so that the two nearly circular lobes of leaves with spiny teeth along their margin can fold together and enclose insects. This action is triggered by the pressure created on sensitive hairs on the lobes. When it is triggered by prey, the lobes snap shut within half a second. It requires ten days for full digestion, after which the leaves reopen.
What are the Similarities Between Pitcher Plant and Venus Flytrap?
- Pitcher plants and venus flytrap are both carnivorous plants.
- They can produce energy from photosynthesis.
- Both grow in nutrient-deficient soil conditions.
- They capture insects as prey.
- In addition, they produce digestive enzymes to digest prey.
What is the Difference Between Pitcher Plant and Venus Flytrap?
The pitcher plant is a carnivore plant that uses pitfall traps to capture the prey while the venus flytrap is a carnivore plant that uses snap traps to capture the prey. So, this is the key difference between pitcher plant and venus flytrap. Furthermore, the pitcher plant traps the prey using rolled leaf while the venus flytrap traps the prey using rapid leaf movement.
The following infographic compiles the differences between pitcher plant and venus flytrap in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Pitcher Plant vs Venus Flytrap
A carnivorous plant is especially adapted for capturing and digesting insects and other animals for their nitrogen and phosphorous need. Pitcher plants and venus flytrap are two types of carnivorous plants. The pitcher plant is a carnivore plant that uses pitfall traps to capture prey. In contrast, the venus flytrap is a carnivore plant that uses snap traps to capture prey. Thus, this is the key difference between pitcher plant and venus flytrap.
1. “Carnivorous Plants / Insectivorous Plants.” Botany.org.
2. “Carnivorous Plants.” San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Animals and Plants.
1. “Pitcher Plant SF Conservatory” (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Venus Flytrap showing trigger hairs” By Noah Elhardt – Self-published photo by Noah Elhardt (CC BY-SA 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia
Leave a Reply