Making Bubbles

Helichus striatus
Photo: Jeff Gruber & Nicolas Gompel

The plastron of the long-toed beetle, Helichus striatus, does not form spontaneously when the beetle submerges. The beetle actively creates a plastron in a process that requires at least a half hour and more typically takes a couple of hours.

A beetle without a plastron will climb a stick so that only its mouthparts break the surface of the water. Air is trapped in the space between the mouthparts and the thorax when the beetle submerges….

Source: Living With Insects Blog

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