A Hairy Entanglement

hairs

Camponotus larvae have hairs that interlock & cause them to clump

The larvae of the ant Camponotus floridanus, have bodies that are covered with curly hairs. When larvae contact each other, their hairs interlock causing the larvae to clump. The hairs also allow the larvae to avoid drowning.  Camponotus larvae will float in a droplet of water that would drown larvae such as a Drosophila that lack dense hairs. Locking hairs improve the ability of larvae to float by maintaining a clumped unit. Clumping may also facilitate feeding and care by adult workers.

Wang, Y., et al., Cuticular body hairs mediate clumping of small Camponotus floridanus larvae, Arthropod Structure & Development (2016)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asd.2016.12.003

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment, Taxonomy. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Hairy Entanglement

  1. Pingback: A Hairy Entanglement – Entomo Planet

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