Adhesive Hairs on Dock Beetle Footpad Image 1
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Adhesive Hairs on Dock Beetle Footpad (Image 1)

June 26, 2012
This scanning electron micrograph shows the various adhesive hairs found on the footpad of the dock beetle (Gastrophysa viridula). The feet of the green dock beetle are covered with thousands of 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 and hairs with flattened (disc-like) tips allowing the insect to peel each contact from the surface when it wants to detach. Recent research has shed new light on the mechanisms used by beetles and other insects to run across smooth surfaces. (Date of Image: 2006-2011) [Image 1 of 4 related images. See Image 2.] Credit: James Bullock, University of Cambridge

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