Sundews growing in a Japanese bog turned out to be far more devious than imagined.
Finding a sundew plant with a healthy supply of insect food may not seem suspicious. After all, carnivorous plants are famed for supplementing their diet with meat to compensate for nutrient-poor soil.
But there may be devious behavior going on behind the scenes. Some sundews growing in bogs in Japan steal insects lured by the flowers of neighboring plants, according to Kazuki Tagawa from Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, and his colleagues.
It seems to be a case of kleptoparasitism, which has only previously been witnessed in animals, where food is acquired from another species with nothing offered in return. For instance, frigatebirds steal their meals from red-footed boobies.