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Eggs stick to waxy surface: asparagus beetle


Crioceris asparagi eggs / Beentree / LicenseCC-by-sa - Attribution Share Alike

Eggs of the asparagus beetle attach firmly to waxy plant surfaces using proteinaceous secretions.

"Plant surfaces covered with crystalline epicuticular waxes are known to be anti-adhesive, hardly wettable and preventing insect attachment. But there are insects that are capable of gluing their eggs to these surfaces by means of proteinaceous secretions. In this study, we analysed the bonding region between the eggs of Crioceris asparagi and the plant surface of Asparagus officinalisMean pull-off force was 14.7 mN, which is about 8650 times higher than the egg weightOur results support the hypothesis that the mechanism of insect egg adhesion on micro- and nanostructured hydrophobic plant surfaces is related to the proteinaceous nature of adhesive secretions of insect eggs. The secretion wets superhydrophobic surfaces and after solidifying builds up a composite, consisting of the solidified glue and wax crystals, at the interface between the egg and plant cuticle." (Voigt and Gorb 2010:895)
About the inspiring organism
Crioceris asparagi
Crioceris asparagi (Linnaeus, 1758)

Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Adhesives designed for specific surface types. Pest control involving natural prevention of adhesion instead of blanket chemical spraying.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Construction, manufacturing, agriculture

Evolutionary Biomaterials Group

Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung
Functional Morphology and Biomechanics group
Stanislav N. Gorb
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Voigt D; Gorb S. 2010. Egg attachment of the asparagus beetle Crioceris asparagi to the crystalline waxy surface of Asparagus officinalis. Proc. R. Soc. B. 277(1683): 895-903.
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Viegas J. 2009. Natural super glue found on asparagus spears. Discovery News [Internet],
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