Science and Technology News

Friday, May 4, 2012

Adhesive Hairs on Dock Beetle Footpad (Image 3 and 4)


A high-magnification image taken using a scanning electron microscope showing a close up of the tiny, pointed adhesive hairs found on the footpad of the dock beetle (Gastrophysa viridula). The feet of green dock beetles are covered with thousands of these tiny adhesive hairs, each no wider than 5 microns (1/200th of a millimetre) across, that allow the beetle to climb, even over molecularly smooth substrates. Visible in the image are two distinct hair morphologies, both pointed hairs (foreground) and hairs with flattened tips (background) that allow the insect to peel each contact from the surface when it wants to detach.

A high-magnification image taken using a scanning electron microscope showing a close up of the pointed adhesive hairs found on the footpad of the dock beetle (Gastrophysa viridula). The feet of green dock beetles are covered with thousands of these tiny adhesive hairs, each no wider than 5 microns (1/200th of a millimetre) across, that allow the beetle to climb, even over molecularly smooth substrates.

(Date of Images: 2006-2011)

Credit: James Bullock, University of Cambridge

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