Vibration generation mechanism in planthoppers

Researchers at the Zoology and Engineering Science Departments at the University of Oxford describe how a newly-discovered “snapping organ” enables courting bugs of both sexes to produce this shaking motion through a combination of muscle action and elastic recoil.

The mathematical model of the vibration generation mechanism was developed by Dr Alice Cicirello, who is leading the Dynamics, Vibration and Uncertainty Lab within the Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering group.

More information: Davranoglou L-R, Cicirello A, Taylor GK, Mortimer B (2019) Planthopper bugs use a fast, cyclic elastic recoil mechanism for effective vibrational communication at small body size. PLoS Biol 17(3): e3000155. 

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