Insects use bubbles to walk underwater

Aug 23, 2012
Fig:(a) Photo showing the bottom side of the foot of a leaf beetle fixed underwater (photographed from back side). The dots of color black shows the foot of the beetle (adhesive setae); white shows bubbles. (b)Schematic diagram of the mechanism by which the beetle’s feet fixed underwater using bubbles.

A team headed by Dr. Naoe Hosoda at the National Institute for Materials Science is engaged in research and development of "Future joining technology for reversible interconnection" as an environment-friendly technology.

In their research on insect feet, which display excellent , the NIMS team discovered that leaf beetles (Gastrophysa viridula)—terrestrial insects that normally live in the atmosphere—can also walk underwater by trapping bubbles with the adhesive setae on their feet.

Dr. Hosoda and her team clarified the mechanism which makes this possible and developed an artificial structure with underwater adhesion properties. This achievement is expected to be developed as an environment-friendly technology and is also considered applicable to clean underwater adhesion without using chemical substances that impact the environment.

Explore further: Researcher develops novel wastewater treatment fabric

More information: This result will be published in the English scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B on Wednesday, August 8 at 8:01a.m. Japan time.

Related Stories

Nature helps to solve a sticky problem

Apr 05, 2011

The arrays of fine adhesive hairs or 'setae' on the foot pads of many insects, lizards and spiders give them the ability to climb almost any natural surface. Research by James Bullock and Walter Federle from the University ...

Oh, what a feeling - dancing on the ceiling!

Apr 05, 2006

Ever wondered how flies are able to walk on the ceiling without falling off? Scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart (Germany) are investigating this James Bond-style ability of insects to hang ...

Duct tape that never loses its stick

Jan 07, 2005

Gecko feet hold key to development of self-cleaning adhesives Duct tape that never loses its stick. Bandages that come off without sticky residue or an "ouch." Gecko feet may hold the key to the developmen ...

Recommended for you

A greener source of polyester—cork trees

Apr 16, 2014

On the scale of earth-friendly materials, you'd be hard pressed to find two that are farther apart than polyester (not at all) and cork (very). In an unexpected twist, however, scientists are figuring out ...

A beautiful, peculiar molecule

Apr 16, 2014

"Carbon is peculiar," said Nobel laureate Sir Harold Kroto. "More peculiar than you think." He was speaking to a standing-room-only audience that filled the Raytheon Amphitheater on Monday afternoon for the ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...