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Data from: Locomotion and attachment of leaf beetle larvae Gastrophysa viridula (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae)


Zurek, Daniel B.; Gorb, Stanislav N.; Voigt, Dagmar (2015), Data from: Locomotion and attachment of leaf beetle larvae Gastrophysa viridula (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae), Dryad, Dataset,


While adult green dock leaf beetles Gastrophysa viridula use tarsal adhesive setae to attach to and walk on smooth vertical surfaces and ceilings, larvae apply different devices for similar purposes: pretarsal adhesive pads on thoracic legs and a retractable pygopod at the 10th abdominal segment. Both are soft smooth structures and capable of wet adhesion. We studied attachment ability of different larval instars, considering the relationship between body weight and real contact area between attachment devices and the substrate. Larval gait patterns were analysed using high-speed video recordings. Instead of the tripod gait of adults, larvae walked by swinging contralateral legs simultaneously while adhering by the pygopod. Attachment ability of larval instars was measured by centrifugation on a spinning drum, revealing that attachment force decreases relative to weight. Contributions of different attachment devices to total attachment ability were investigated by selective disabling of organs by covering them with melted wax. Despite their smaller overall contact area, tarsal pads contributed to a larger extent to total attachment ability, probably because of their distributed spacing. Furthermore, we observed different behaviour in adults and larvae when centrifuged: while adults gradually slipped outward on the centrifuge drum surface, larvae stayed at the initial position until sudden detachment.

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