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Beetle dazzles insect scientists: January 18, 2007
MITES AND COLLEMBOLA
The finger-tip sized Cyphochilus beetle, found in south-east Asia, had a shell whiter than most other materials found in nature, UK researchers said.
Close inspection reveals a unique surface structure covered with scales 10 times thinner than human hair.
A report in Science magazine claims mimicking these scales could provide a range of applications for industry.
"Such pure bright whiteness is uncommon in insects," explained lead scientist Dr Pete Vukusic of Exeter University.
"You do see the odd bit of whiteness here and there, mainly in butterflies, but the whiteness is really incomparable with this little beetle."
In the study of the insect, Vukusic's team used a number of techniques such as optical microscopy, laser analysis and spectrometry.
The researchers found, according to the International Organization for Standardization measurements, the beetle was much brighter and whiter than milk and the average human tooth.
The beetle's shell was covered with ultra-thin scales, measuring just five micrometres (millionths of a metre), with highly random internal 3D structures.
This irregular structure, explained Dr Vukusic, was the cause of the beetle's whiteness.
While colour, he explained, could be created through highly ordered structures, whiteness is achieved through very random features that scatter all colours simultaneously.
"The degree of whiteness given the scales' thinness is the really impressive thing," Dr Vukusic added.
"We can create this quality of white synthetically, but the materials need to be much thicker. This could have many applications."
The researchers believe industry might draw inspiration from the beetle to enhance the whiteness of synthetic objects, such as papers, plastics, paints or white-light displays.
The team thinks the beetle evolved to be so white because the colour provides camouflage in amongst the white fungi common to where it is found.
Insects left disfigured by nuclear radiation April 24, 2008
No one wants to live too close to a source of artificial radiation, not even insects
. Cornelia Hesse-Honegger has spent 20 years travelling around the world, mostly in Europe,
capturing and studying over 16,000 insects, many living in the vicinity of nuclear power
stations, or other artificial sources of radiation. Her conclusion, not surprisingly,
is that exposure to radiation increases the chances of deformity.
Physicists investigate structural properties of spider webs
- by Lisa Zyga February 8, 2010
Physicists have developed a model for the mechanics of spider orb webs, like the one shown, which spiders have been spinning
for at least 200 million years.
(PhysOrg.com) -- "Although the orb web of a spider is a lightweight structure, it seems to be a highly optimized structure,
presumably as a result of evolution from the Jurassic period or earlier," explain physicists Yuko Aoyananagi and Ko Okumura,
who are investigating the structural properties of spider webs. "It seems to resist different loads such as wind and insect
impact efficiently and can catch prey even if some threads are broken."
SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPE PICS
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA- Department of Forest Sciences- GREEN TREE RETENTION SOIL FAUNA DIGITAL LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA BIODIVERSITY RESEARCH CENTRE - Mites and other Microarthropods
MICROARTHROPOD PSYCHEDELIC FRACTAL ART HERE!!
Troy's Nature Closeups Blog
|Little fly, Thy summer's play My thoughtless hand Has brushed away. Am not I A fly like thee? Or art not thou A man like me? For I dance
And drink and sing, Till some blind hand Shall brush my wing. If thought is life And strength and breath, And the want Of thought is death, Then am I A happy fly, If I live Or if I die. William Blake
Bochdansky & Kriftner Beetles - MULTIMEDIA!
When the last honey bee dies, Mankind has three years left.
This is a very cool photo of a dragonfly covered in dew by photographer
Check out the full size photo here!
Dragonfly Anatomy here!
University of Michigan
GIANT Ant hill in Australia!
Directory of Invertebrate Resources
Entomology Index of Internet Resources
Keith Edkins Insect Photos
Electronic Resources on Lepidoptera
photo by Tom Pennington / Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Sprawling spider web blankets Texas trail
Ed Nieuwenhuys Spider Photos
Spiders of Australia
500 pictures with 200 species of spiders!
Spider Eye Arrangements at BugGuide.net
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