New carnivorous plant species discovered on Facebook
In an unusual twist of fate, Paulo Gonella, a plant researcher at the University of Sao Paolo, stumbled upon a photo of a plant taken by amateur botanist Reginaldo Vasconcelos in 2012 which until now had not been discovered or scientifically identified.
The plant, now called Drosera magnifica, is a type of sundew, a carnivorous plant native to the Americas.
Image: Paulo Gonella
Gonella and Vasconcelos returned to the mountain where Vasconcelos originally found the plant. After studying it further with botanists at the Botanical State Collection in Munich, their findings were published in the journal Phytotaxa.
This Drosera is the second largest carnivorous plant in the Americas, and can catch insects as large as dragonflies in its sticky leaves. The Telegraph reports the species is endangered, as farmland has cleared a large percentage of the surrounding areas.
FACTS ABOUT CARNIVOROUS PLANTS
Sundews are a variety of carnivorous plants commonly found in humid, swampy areas.
Drosera plants catch their prey using sticky droplets on their surface. Some species can live up to 50 years.
Cover image: Reginaldo Vasconcelos