Shake a Leg

Squash bugs, Anasa tristis

Insects face many predators in the environment. Often a predator will grasp insect prey by a limb. Ants can grasp a leg to immobilize an insect until its nest mates can swarm the insect and kill it. One means of escape is to autotomize (detach) the stuck limb.

A group of scientists* studied the ability of 9 species of Coreid bugs to autotomize limbs. They grasped a limb of a bug with forceps and held the limb for 1 h. The only way for the bugs to escape was to…

Source: Living With Insects Blog

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