First-of-its-kind underground carnivore plant breaks a record for popularity in PhytoKeys

17 August 2022

The first carnivorous pitcher plant known to produce functional underground traps - recently described as new to science in PhytoKeys - became the article with the most online mentions for the journal, according to the latest data from Altmetric.

You can explore the online mentions linking back to the article in real time here.

Apart from having been shared on Twitter over 1,770 times by 1,600+ unique users, to date, the plant - unique with its subterranean hunting strategy - has made the headlines on major news media from around the globe, including the CNN, The New York Times, CTV News, IFLScience, Spektrum and Daily Mail.

In the meantime, the video showing the plant and its pitchers in the field already enjoys nearly 80,000 views.

The new to science species was described as Nepenthes pudica by an international research team, led by Dr Martin Dančák (Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic).

The study takes the lead from popular discoveries published in PhytoKeys, including the bush tomato Solanum plastisexum, which was found to exhibit elements of all three possible breeding systems, thereby rendering it “the first ‘sexually fluid’ plant”; and the critically-endangered orchid Telipogon diabolicus, whose uncanny resemblance of a devil’s head was unanimously confirmed by the likes of The Washington Post, El Espectador and LiveScience.

Endemic to Borneo, the new to science species has evolved modified leaves, known as pitfall traps or pitchers, and uses them to catch its prey: mainly ants, but also other invertebrates found in the soil, including mosquito larvae and worms.


The discovery and the story behind the publication were also announced on Pensoft’s blog.


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