Paper highlights: Mechanism of vibration generation 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.

Planthoppers (Agalmatium bilobum, pictured). Credit: L.-R. Davranoglou

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. 

Press release

Oxford Engineering Science Department Press release

Oxford University Press release

SMMEG group Press release

Balliol College Press release

Full paper