The genera Polypompholyx (two species of pink petticoats or fairy aprons) and Biovularia used to be regarded as fourth and fifth members of this family. Biovularia has been subsumed into Utricularia, and Polypompholyx has been relegated to a subgenus of Utricularia. Placement of the family used to be in the Scrophulariales, which has been merged with Lamiales in the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system.
One common trait found in several Lamiales families that may have led to carnivory is the secretion of proteinase mucilage through leaf surfaces. This mucilage is generally used to prevent insect predation by trapping and degrading potentially harmful insects. Some research suggests these glands can quite easily shift their function from secretion to absorption. This shift may have first occurred in the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of the Lentibulariaceae, introducing absorptive glands that provided additional macronutrients through trapped insects. The additional source of nutrients may have increased fitness of plants growing in low-nutrient habitats which eventually caused an embrace of carnivory. Further mapping of traits also suggests the MRCA was terrestrial and possessed a basal rosette composed of flat leaves and a primary root.
- Ellison, A.; Gotelli, N. (2009). "Energetics and the evolution of carnivorous plants-Darwin's 'most wonderful plants in the world'" (PDF). Journal of Experimental Botany. 60 (1): 19–42. doi:10.1093/jxb/ern179. PMID 19213724.
- Jobson, Richard W.; Playford, Julia; Cameron, Kenneth M. & Albert, Victor A. (2003). "Molecular Phylogenetics of Lentibulariaceae Inferred from Plastid rps16 Intron and trnL-F DNA Sequences: Implications for Character Evolution and Biogeography". Systematic Botany. 28 (1): 157–171. doi:10.1043/0363-6445-28.1.157 (inactive 31 May 2021).CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of May 2021 (link)
- K. Müller; T. Borsch; L. Legendre; S. Porembski; I. Theisen; W. Barthlott (2004). "Evolution of Carnivory in Lentibulariaceae and the Lamiales". Plant Biology (Stuttgart). 6 (4): 477–490. doi:10.1055/s-2004-817909. PMID 15248131.