Better know a carnivorous plant: pitcher plants (Nepenthes sp.)
Okay, so. Pitcher plants. These things are kind of like a kudzu version of normal carnivorous plants. They don’t both much with root systems, because carnivore plants tend to evolve in response to shit-poor soil, but instead of having a denser, tight-packed clump of leaves and stalks, pitcher plants have a really sprawling, vine-type stem that all their pitchers come off of.
Unlike Venus flytraps and sundews and waterwheels, pitcher plants are passive traps that bugs fall into and die.
Above: Basic anatomy of the pitcher.
There’s a huge, absolutely batshit amount of variability within the genus, but they work off the same basic template. The lid has glands that can put out nectar or volatile compounds that attract certain types of preferred prey. The cup base has glands that absorb the prey as it’s digested. The cup itself holds a variable amount of plant-secreted fluid and, quite frequently, rain water, in which unlucky bugs, spiders, and small vertebrates drown.
The fluid contains all sorts of fun compounds to facilitate their murder-goals. Surfactants make sure that arthropods that fall in can’t just camp out on top of the water thanks to surface tension and help drown the little bastards by gumming up their book lungs and spiracles. Enzymes help break down the corpses more quickly and completely, essentially turning the cup into a low-tech stomach. The lip and the interior walls are coated with wax crystals the fuck up bug feet something fierce, though different species have differing amounts and spacing for it.
Some are all like “Whatever comes here is fucking dead,” and some are all like “I see the value in letting some live so that they tell all their friends about me, at which point I will eat all their friends.” Others have spiders living in them, because spiders make everything better. Right? Right? Right.
Above: Eight-legged dicks.
The plants put out multiple pitchers in order to up their take and keep a steady supply of digesting units, and most put out multiple types of pitchers, changing it up as the plant gets bigger or takes over more layers of vegetation. Indigestible bug-parts will eventually take a pitcher out of commission as they build up, and too big an animal falling in and rotting can either ruin the cup or fuck up its ability to attract new prey. Particularly deep pitchers can wind up with a ridiculous amount of sediment in them, and it’s just like so fucking gross.