Insectivorous plants include the Venus flytrap, several types of pitcher plants, butterworts, sundews, bladderworts, the waterwheel plant, brocchinia and many members of the Bromeliaceae. The list is far from complete, and some plants, such as Roridula species, exploit the prey organisms mainly in a mutualistic relationship with other creatures, such as resident organisms that contribute to the digestion of prey. In particular animal prey organisms supply carnivorous plants with nitrogen, but they also are important sources of various other soluble minerals, such as potassium and trace elements that are in short supply in environments where the plants flourish. This gives them a decisive advantage over other plants, whereas in nutrient-rich soils they tend to be out-competed by plants adapted to aggressive growth where nutrient supplies are not the major constraints.
Insectivorous plants are plants that derive some of their nutrients from trapping and consuming animals or protozoan. The benefit they derive from their catch varies considerably; in some species it might include a small part of their nutrient intake and in others it might be an indispensable source of nutrients. As a rule, however, such animal food, however valuable it might be as a source of certain critically important minerals, is not the plants' major source of energy, which they generally derive mainly from photosynthesis.