Insectivorous Plants eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 527 pages of information about Insectivorous Plants.

Living plants from Yorkshire were sent me by Dr. Hooker.  This species differs from the last in the stems and leaves being thicker or coarser; their divisions form a more acute angle with one another; the notches on the leaves bear three or four short bristles instead of one; and the bladders are twice as large, or about 1/5 of an inch (5.08 mm.) in diameter.  In all essential respects the bladders resemble those of Utricularia neglecta, but the sides of the peristome are perhaps a little more [page 429] prominent, and always bear, as far as I have seen, seven or eight long multicellular bristles.  There are eleven long bristles on each antenna, the terminal pair being included.  Five bladders, containing prey of some kind, were examined.  The first included five Cypris; a large copepod and a Diaptomus; the second, four Cypris; the third, a single rather large crustacean; the fourth, six crustaceans; and the fifth, ten.  My son examined the quadrifid processes in a bladder containing the remains of two crustaceans, and found some of them full of spherical or irregularly shaped masses of matter, which were observed to move and to coalesce.  These masses therefore consisted of protoplasm.


Fig. 25. (Utricularia minor.) Quadrifid process, greatly enlarged.

This rare species was sent me in a living state from Cheshire, through the kindness of Mr. John Price.  The leaves and bladders are much smaller than those of Utricularia neglecta.  The leaves bear fewer and shorter bristles, and the bladders are more globular.  The antennae, instead of projecting in front of the bladders, are curled under the valve, and are armed with twelve or fourteen extremely long multicellular bristles, generally arranged in pairs.  These, with seven or eight long bristles on both sides of the peristome, form a sort of net over the valve, which would tend to prevent all animals, excepting very small ones, entering the bladder.  The valve and collar have the same essential structure as in the two previous species; but the glands are not quite so numerous; the oblong ones are rather more elongated, whilst the two-armed ones are rather less elongated.  The four bristles which project obliquely from the lower edge of the valve are short.  Their shortness, compared with those on the valves of the foregoing species, is intelligible if my view is correct that they serve to prevent too large animals forcing an entrance through the valve, thus injuring it; for the valve is already protected to a certain extent by the incurved antennae, together with the lateral bristles.  The bifid processes are like those in the previous species; but the quadrifids differ in the four arms (fig. 25) [page 430] being directed to the same side; the two longer ones being central, and the two shorter ones on the outside.

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Insectivorous Plants from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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