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Rayel Flytrap

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2024 issue.

Rayel Flytrap 2 0m
ATTACKS Bite (1 point)
BEHAVIOUR Carnivore, Siren

Morphology Small bush up to 1.5 metres across
Biochemistry C/H/O/N, broadly compatible with human
Respiration Photosynthetic, Carbon dioxide inhalant, dioxide exhalant. Very sensitive to the environment.
Ecology Indeciduous
Habitat Temperate to semi-tropical rainforests
Trophics Grows best in swamp areas where its ability to catch prey allows it to outcompete other plants.
Reproduction Produces small flowers that are pollinated by insects. Seed dispersed by the wind.
Lifecycle and Ontogeny Perennial. Plants are known to have lived for up to ten years in the wild and much longer when cared for.

The Rayel flytrap is a larger version of the Venus flytrap, It can grow to a metre tall and its trap is much stronger and faster. It was first discovered on Rayel in the Inar Subsector of the Deneb Sector, hence the name. Originally it was thought to be native to the planet; however, it has genetic similarities to the Terrestrial flytrap, suggesting that it has been genetically manipulated by agents unknown. Suspicions have fallen on the Ancients and the Solomani corporation Macrogensis. Another possible candidate is the ThengGen corporation of Thengin in Sabine. They are a relatively small corporation involved in genetic research which despite its small size has had several successes.

On Rayel, it is found in swamps in at the sides of rivers. Like many carnivorous plants it is adapted to live in low nutrient waters and when used as a houseplant, care must be taken when watering it, as water with too many contaminants can kill it.

The Rayel Flytrap has been accidently, or perhaps deliberately, introduced to other planets throughout the Sabine, Lamas and Inar subsectors and can be found on several worlds.

The leaves are not the traditional trap shape. They are round with a red centre to attract the prey, quickly folding up when it senses movement in the central leaf area. Spikes in the central area then pierce the prey killing it. The leaf then spends up to two months slowly digesting it. The largest prey it can take is about 10g (e.g., a wren or shrew).

It is not very dangerous to an adult human; though it is rumoured that it can take someone’s finger off, there are no known documented cases. The spikes can, however, harm small children or curious pets. The Rayel Flytrap can be kept as a houseplant and can even catch vermin. The flytrap needs to be fed meat regularly, though the type of meat it needs is very flexible. Care needs to be taken when transporting it from one place to another as a sudden change in environmental conditions can kill it. It is best kept at around 20°C. Temperatures lower than 5° and higher than 32° can kill it.

The Rayel Flytrap produces small white delicate flowers on a very long stem. After all, It wouldn’t be good to eat the insects it needs to pollinate it. The small seeds are dispersed on the wind, travelling up to twenty metres from the parent plant.

Referee’s Note: The flytrap was indeed created by ThengGen. The other stories are misinformation spread by the corporation.