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The fascinating world of carnivorous plants – at the DRB

12 October 2018, 7:15 pm-9:30 pm

Main Talk

Speaker: Laura Skates, botanist & PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia.

Laura is based at Kings Park Botanic Gardens, Perth, and the BayCEER Laboratory, University of Bayreuth, Germany. Her research focuses on the ecology, nutrition and conservation of carnivorous plants. She is particularly interested in finding out how hungry carnivorous plants are, and how much they rely on the nutrition from the insects they eat versus how much on the soil in which they live.

Unfortunately, though, many carnivorous plant species are under threat from the loss and disturbance of natural habitats, as well as the illegal collection of species from the wild. She believes that research into the biology and ecology of carnivorous plants is essential to enhance our understanding of the nutrition, evolution, and diversification of them, and to better inform conservation and management strategies for threatened native species.

Topic: Carnivorous plants of the Perth Hills and Western Australia.

Carnivorous plants capture and digest prey to gain nutrition from them, but how hungry are they? Western Australia hosts the world’s greatest diversity of carnivorous plants. Globally, there are more than 600 species spread across five orders, eleven families, and at least eighteen genera. Western Australia hosts nearly a third of them, including sundews, bladderworts, rainbow plants, the endemic Albany pitcher plant, and the rare aquatic waterwheel plant. No other place on earth provides such a unique collection. This is your opportunity to learn all about them, especially the ones we will find in the Perth Hills, and how to find them, how to identify them and the many forms they take. Carnivorous plants use a variety of methods to trap their prey. Some use a ‘snap trap’, to capture insects in fast-shutting “jaws”, while ‘flypaper traps’ use sticky liquid to ensure flying bugs. There are also pitcher traps, suction traps and eel traps! Of course, you’ll also find out just how hungry they are and where they get their nutrients from! You’ll never look at sundews or other carnivorous plants in them in the same way again!

For more information on Laura go to her website: http://lauraskates.com/

Or watch her here being interviewed on ABC news: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eedycBZKNE

Venue: Jorgensen Park Pavilion, Crescent Road, Off Mundaring Weir Road, Kalamunda.

Date: Friday October 12th, 2018 at 7.15pm


  1. Kids talk: A five minute talk by 11 year old Andrew Wallace on “Ants of the Perth Hills”. This will be Andrew’s third talk to the club and his other ones have been fascinating.
  2. “Apps for Nats”. There will not be one this month as Kendra is away.
  3. A monthly nature competition for children. When a child (under 16) comes along to a meeting they are invited to bring a drawing, craft work, story, study or video on the topic to the next meeting. Small prizes are given each month, and at our Christmas event children are invited to bring back all their entries and a grand prize is given. Thus, any child who was at our September talk on Butterflies with Eric McCrum can enter the competition this month. Anyone attending this plants night can enter the competition in November 2018.
  4. A “Nature road show”. Members and visitors are encouraged to bring items to place on the display table, e.g. a sample flower, a sample of geology, an insect, and so on – anything of natural history interest that has legally been obtained. One of our experts will identify them or talk about them, or the person bringing them can talk about where they saw it, etc. If you wish to show a photograph please email it, no later than the day before, to Rachel, our MC, and she will include it on her PowerPoint slides: DRB@wanaturalists.org.au

Time: Please come early at 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start as it will be a popular night and we start promptly. We are open from 7pm. We finish at 9.30pm.

Venue: “Home of the DRB”, Jorgensen Park Pavilion, Crescent Road, off Mundaring Weir Road, Kalamunda, Western Australia.

Level: This will be suitable for children, teenagers and adults, amateurs and scientists, beginners and those with advanced knowledge … bring the whole family. Eddie Dell has recommended we have Laura speak because she is so good.

Donation: We invite a donation of $3 per person for adult members ($0 for child members), and $5 per adult visitor and $1 per visiting child. Includes tea and coffee and home-made food and biscuits!

Door prizes: You could also be the lucky winner of a door prize. There are prizes for both members and visitors.

Bookings: Bookings are not required. Come early to get a seat at the front though as this will be a popular night. Doors open at 7pm.


12 October 2018
7:15 pm-9:30 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:


Jorgensen Park Pavilion…
Jorgensen Park Pavilion, end of Crescent Rd, Off Mundaring Weir Road,
Kalamunda, WA 6076 Australia


Rachel Green: DRB@wanaturalists.org.au ph: 0436-448-647