Froghoppers can jump large distances compared to their height. Some species can generate a jumping force that is 400 times their body mass. How do they generate the force? Froghoppers have a complex structure, the pleural arch, that links the coxae of the hind legs to the hinge of the hind wings. In froghoppers, the pleural arch is a composite structure consisting of flexible resilin and stiff cuticle that performs like a compound bow. Contraction of a powerful muscle causes the pleural arch to flex like a bow and store energy for a jump. When the muscle relaxes, the pleural arch changes shape and delivers a powerful force to the legs that powers the jump. The resilin accommodates the strain created in the cuticle and allows the body to maintain its shape during the jump.
Malcolm Burrows, Stephen R Shaw and Gregory P Sutton. Resilin and chitinous cuticle form a composite structure for energy storage in jumping by froghopper insects. BMC Biology20086:41.Published: 30 September 2008