Watch: Here’s how spring-loaded beetle larvae launch themselves into the air
Can’t beat that vertical leap.
When you think of jumping bugs, grasshoppers, fleas, or crickets might come to mind.
Takahiro Yoshida/PLOS One
But some beetle larvae also have the ability to launch themselves into the air — a behavior scientists had no clue about till now.
Meet Laemopholoeus biguttatus — a species of lined flat bark beetle.
It’s widespread throughout Central and North America. But its larval leaping skills are a discovery new to science. The eagle-eyed researchers who caught them mid the air published their findings Wednesday in the journal PLOS One.
“There’s a stereotypical idea that discovery involves [going] to a far-off, ‘unexplored’ place to document the unknown. The reality is that most of our living world, all around us, is unexplored and under-described.”
In 2021, Smith posted a video of the jumping larvae to YouTube, and Tokyo-based researcher Takahiro Yoshida got in touch. Yoshida had also seen larvae from a beetle species called Placonotus testaceus leaping around, too.