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Effect of particulate contamination on adhesive ability and repellence in two species of ant (Hymenoptera; Formicidae)

Anyon, Matthew J.; Orchard, M J; Buzza, David M. A.; Humphries, S; Kohonen, Mika

Description

Tarsal adhesive pads are crucial for the ability of insects to traverse their natural environment. Previous studies have demonstrated that for both hairy and smooth adhesive pads, significant reduction in adhesion can occur because of contamination of these pads by wax crystals present on plant surfaces or synthetic microspheres. In this paper, we focus on the smooth adhesive pads of ants and study systematically how particulate contamination and the subsequent loss of adhesion depends on...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorAnyon, Matthew J.
dc.contributor.authorOrchard, M J
dc.contributor.authorBuzza, David M. A.
dc.contributor.authorHumphries, S
dc.contributor.authorKohonen, Mika
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T22:19:14Z
dc.date.available2015-12-13T22:19:14Z
dc.identifier.issn0022-0949
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/71691
dc.description.abstractTarsal adhesive pads are crucial for the ability of insects to traverse their natural environment. Previous studies have demonstrated that for both hairy and smooth adhesive pads, significant reduction in adhesion can occur because of contamination of these pads by wax crystals present on plant surfaces or synthetic microspheres. In this paper, we focus on the smooth adhesive pads of ants and study systematically how particulate contamination and the subsequent loss of adhesion depends on particle size, particle surface energy, humidity and species size. To this end, workers of ant species Polyrhachis dives and Myrmica scabrinodis (Hymenoptera; Formicidae) were presented with loose synthetic powder barriers with a range of powder diameters (1-500μm) and surface energies (PTFE or glass), which they would have to cross in order to escape the experimental arena. The barrier experiments were conducted for a range of humidities (10-70%). Experimental results and scanning electron microscopy confirm that particulate powders adversely affect the adhesive ability of both species of ant on smooth substrates via contamination of the arolia. Specifically, the loss of adhesion was found to depend strongly on particle diameter, but only weakly on particle type, with the greatest loss occurring for particle diameters smaller than the claw dimensions of each species, and no effect of humidity was found. We also observed that ants were repelled by the powder barriers which led to a decrease of adhesion prior to their eventual crossing, suggesting that insect antennae may play a role in probing the mechanical fragility of substrates before crossing them.
dc.publisherThe Company of Biologists Ltd
dc.sourceJournal of Experimental Biology
dc.subjectKeywords: politef; adhesion; animal; ant; antenna (organ); article; biomechanics; hindlimb; humidity; particle size; particulate matter; physiology; surface property; Adhesiveness; Animals; Ants; Arthropod Antennae; Biomechanics; Humidity; Particle Size; Particulat Arolium; Contamination; Hymenoptera; Particles; Powder barrier; Wet adhesion
dc.titleEffect of particulate contamination on adhesive ability and repellence in two species of ant (Hymenoptera; Formicidae)
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume215
dc.date.issued2012
local.identifier.absfor020400 - CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS
local.identifier.ariespublicationf5625xPUB2834
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationAnyon, Matthew J., University of Hull
local.contributor.affiliationOrchard, M J, University of Hull
local.contributor.affiliationBuzza, David M. A., University of Hull
local.contributor.affiliationHumphries, S, University of Hull
local.contributor.affiliationKohonen, Mika, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.bibliographicCitation.issue4
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage605
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage616
local.identifier.doi10.1242/jeb.063578
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T09:02:52Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84856551092
local.identifier.thomsonID000300185900010
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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