Venus Flytrap Facts for Kids

A Picture of the Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)
  • Common Name: Venus Flytrap
  • Scientific Name: Dionaea muscipula
  • Genus: Dionaea
  • Family: Droseraceae
  • Order: Caryophyllales
  • Distribution: Coastal plain of North and South Carolina, USA

23 Venus Flytrap Facts for Kids

  1. The Venus flytrap is a carnivorous plant native to the United States of America.
  2. The Venus flytrap is the most recognized and grown carnivorous plant in the world.
  3. The scientific name for the Venus flytrap is Dionaea muscipula.
  4. The Venus flytrap grows on the East Coast of the USA in the subtropical wetlands of North and South Carolina.
  5. British colonial governor Arthur Dobbs discovered the Venus flytrap in 1759.
  6. British naturalist John Ellis first described the Venus flytrap in 1768.
  7. The Venus flytrap captures insects and uses them as a source of nutrients. However, the Venus flytrap still produces energy using sunlight and the photosynthesis process.
  8. Botanists have determined the Venus flytrap prefers a specific type of prey. A study revealed the diet of a Venus flytrap consisted of ants, beetles, flying insects, grasshoppers and spiders. Contrary to its name, less than 5% of its diet consists of flying insects.
  9. The Venus flytrap is one of a few plants with the ability to create a rapid movement.
  10. The trap used by a Venus flytrap contains hairs that can trigger it to close when they detect an insect.
  11. The hairs of the Venus flytrap have evolved to prevent false closing from things like raindrops and wind.
  12. An insect must trigger two of the hairs on a Venus flytrap, within about 20 seconds to trigger it to close.
  13. The trap of the Venus flytrap closes shut in about 1/10th of a second after its been triggered.
  14. Once the trap is closed, an insect will need to continuously trigger hairs to stimulate digestion.
  15. If an insect successfully stimulates digestion the trap creates an airtight seal and start to digest it.
  16. An insect successfully captured by a Venus flytrap can take up to ten days to fully digest.
  17. Once the insect has been digested the trap reopens and is ready to capture another insect.
  18. The Venus flytrap is a very popular plant and it’s commonly sold as a household plant.
  19. The U.S. State of North Carolina designated the Venus flytrap as the State Carnivorous Plant in 2005.
  20. The wild population of the Venus Flytrap has dropped more than 90% between 1979 and 2019.
  21. In 1979, the wild population of the Venus flytrap was estimated to be around 4.5 million individual plants.
  22. In 2019, a survey by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program estimated the wild population of the Venus flytrap was around 302,000 individual plants.
  23. Due to destruction of habitat and illegal harvesting (poaching) the Venus flytrap is classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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