Very little information is available on the biology of the lesser bladderwort (3), although it is known to flower between June and August in certain parts of its range (2) and it is a perennial species, living for over two years (3).
The aboveground parts of the herbaceous lesser bladderwort die at the end of each growing season and the plant survives through winter as a turion, before growing back the following spring as ambient temperatures increase. This species is thought to reproduce vegetatively through subterranean rhizomes, although the presence of flowers and pollen suggests that it may also reproduce sexually, with its pollen being spread by insects (3).
The lesser bladderwort is a carnivorous plant which catches its prey in an extremely fast-moving trap that can react in around 0.002 seconds. When a prey item is inside the trap, it is ingested through glands, which also filter the contents of the trap. The traps are reset using the energy produced by respiration. The exact prey of the lesser bladderwort is unknown, although other Utricularia species are known to take insect larvae, copepods, algae, microscopic worms and water fleas (3).