Utricularia multifida, commonly called pink petticoat, is a terrestrial carnivorous plant that belongs to the bladderwort genus, Utricularia, of the family Lentibulariaceae. It is endemic to the southwest corner of Western Australia. It was once placed in a separate genus as Polypompholyx multifida.
This genus is fascinating due to being a lesser-known carnivorous plant and capturing small organisms by means of bladder-like traps, even though they’re the largest genus of carnivorous plants. With so many species, you’d rightly expect them to be the most geographically widespread carnivorous plant, growing on almost every continent save for frozen Arctic regions and oceanic islands (they’re freshwater aquatic plants). Species are highly adaptable, surviving drought by morphing into underground rice-sized tubers, and freezes by morphing into dormant, hairy buds called turrions. You’ll find them nestled within other plants, like bromeliads, frozen Alaskan swamps, seasonally wet Australian deserts, in fast-moving African waters, in mossy South American trees, and acidic ponds of Florida. There’s nary an environment Bladderworts can’t conquer.
The Utricularia multifida, have tiny traps that feed on minute prey such as protozoa and rotifers swimming in water-saturated soil. Despite their small size, the traps are extremely sophisticated. The bladder, when "set", is under negative pressure in relation to its environment so that when the trapdoor is mechanically triggered, the prey, along with the water surrounding it, is sucked into the bladder. Once the bladder is full of water, the door closes again, the whole process taking only ten to fifteen milliseconds.
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