Non-wetting wings and legs of the cranefly aided by fine structures of the cuticle

Hu, Hsuan-Ming S., Watson, Gregory S., Cribb, Bronwen W., and Watson, Jolanta A. (2011) Non-wetting wings and legs of the cranefly aided by fine structures of the cuticle. Journal of Experimental Biology, 214 (6). pp. 915-920.

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Abstract

Non-wetting surfaces are imperative to the survival of terrestrial and semi-aquatic insects as they afford resistance to wetting by rain and other liquid surfaces that insects may encounter. Thus, there is an evolutionary pay-off for these insects to adopt hydrophobic technologies, especially on contacting surfaces such as legs and wings. The cranefly is a weak flier, with many species typically found in wet/moist environments where they lay eggs. Water droplets placed on this insect's wings will spontaneously roll off the surface. In addition, the insect can stand on water bodies without its legs penetrating the water surface. The legs and wings of this insect possess thousands of tiny hairs with intricate surface topographies comprising a series of ridges running longitudinally along the long axis of the hair fibre. Here we demonstrate that this fine hair structure enhances the ability of the hairs to resist penetration into water bodies.

Item ID: 15512
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: wing, leg, insect, anti-wetting, atomic force microscopy, hair, water, adhesion
ISSN: 1477-9145
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2011 05:35
FoR Codes: 02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0299 Other Physical Sciences > 029901 Biological Physics @ 70%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 70%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 10
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