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Jumping and Grasping: Universal Locking Mechanisms in Insect Legs

Földvári, M; Mikó, I; Ulmer, JM; dos Santos Rolo, T; Csősz, S; Pomiankowski, A; Baumbach, T; (2019) Jumping and Grasping: Universal Locking Mechanisms in Insect Legs. Insect Systematics and Diversity , 3 (6) , Article 3. 10.1093/isd/ixz018. Green open access

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Abstract

Thickened femora of insects are correlated to enlarged muscle masses and serve two basic purposes: jumping/ kicking and grasping/holding. Modifications on the ventral femoral wall and the tibial flexor tendon that are possibly involved in catch mechanisms have been described in multiple insect taxa with both jumping and grasping legs. Our comparative study aims to explore the functional and structural similarities of these modification in jumping and grasping leg types from Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, and Orthoptera with the combination of cutting edge, noninvasive imaging methods, and classical dissections techniques. Our data indicate that locking mechanisms are present in the jumping and grasping legs of insects. We describe three femoro-tibial lock types based on the location of the interacting sclerites relative to the site of origin of the tibial flexor tendon. All of the three types can be found in jumping insect legs, whereas only one type is present in grasping legs. The locking mechanism might aid in keeping the femoro-tibial joint in a flexed position for an extended period of time. Our data indicate that morphologically similar modifications in the femoro-tibial joint are involved in energy-saving mechanisms both in jumping and grasping legs in insects.

Type: Article
Title: Jumping and Grasping: Universal Locking Mechanisms in Insect Legs
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/isd/ixz018
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/isd/ixz018
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Courtship behaviour, convergence, CLSM, SR-μCT, 3D reconstruction
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10087526
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