What do you do if you are a tiny insect who has the misfortune of making amazing leaps that often times land you in water? If you are a pygmy mole cricket (Xya capensis), this does not pose a problem. A report in the December issue of Current Biology explains that these tiny, 5.5mm long insects come equipped with seven paddle-like appendages and four prongs on the end of each powerful back leg (1). These structures help the insects leap straight up off the surface of the water with enough power to reach heights eighteen times their body length.
Not bad for something the size of a pencil eraser.
See the leap for yourself here.
- Burrows, M. and Sutton, G.P. (2012) Pygmy Mole Crickets Jump From Water. Current Biology 22, R90-1.
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Kelly earned her B.S. in Genetics from Iowa State University
in Ames, IA. Prior to coming to Promega, she worked for biotech companies in San Diego and Madison. Kelly lives just outside Madison with her husband, son and daughter. Kelly collects hobbies including jewelry artistry, reading, writing, photography and knitting. She would like to be an avid runner, as evidenced by her growing collection of running gear and her single half-marathon finishers t-shirt.