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Sticky traps

Sparkling in the sunlight, sticky traps hide their deadly weapons in full sight.

Sticky traps

Sparkling in the sunlight, sticky traps hide their deadly weapons in full sight. 

Their murderously sticky mucilage, sticks, spreads and binds their prey so tightly there is no escape.  

Sequence of a Sundew sticky trap in action

1. Glittering Lure - Insects can’t resist the bright, fragrant droplets. But what looks and smells like nectar is gooey beads of bait, held aloft by tentacles waiting to strike!

2. Deadly Grip - Expecting a feast, the victim lands and is stuck fast. It struggles, but the tentacles curl and grip wetly. Death is by exhaustion or suffocation.

3. A Sticky End - The tentacles ooze digestive enzymes. The soft parts of the victim’s body dissolve, and the plant absorbs the liquid nutrients.

Sticky Leaf Traps


Sticky traps activities

  • Observe the structural adaptations of the Sundew plant. Draw a scientific diagram of its sticky trap, label its features and describe its structural adaptations for trapping invertebrates. Create an animation to demonstrate how Sundew plants trap animals. 
  • Create an animation to demonstrate how Sundew plants trap animals.  
  • Invent a physical game along the lines of ‘stuck in the mud’ or ‘bull rush’ that demonstrates the structural adaptations of plants with sticky traps.
  • Sticky fly paper uses the principles of sticky traps and can be used as an environmentally friendly pest control method. Make your own non-toxic sticky fly paper. Use design and production skills to experiment with different recipes for the sticky surface and use working scientifically skills to conduct a fair test to determine the most effective. 
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