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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Spittlebugs produce foam as a thermoregulatory adaptation

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Tonelli, Mateus [1] ; Gomes, Guilherme [2] ; Silva, Weliton D. [1] ; Magri, Nathalia T. C. [3] ; Vieira, Durval M. [4] ; Aguiar, Claudio L. [3] ; Bento, Jose Mauricio S. [1]
Total Authors: 7
[1] Univ Sao Paulo, Dept Entomol & Acarol, Piracicaba, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Sao Paulo, Dept Phys & Interdisciplinary Sci, Sao Carlos, SP - Brazil
[3] Univ Sao Paulo, Hugot Sugar Technol Lab, Piracicaba, SP - Brazil
[4] Erythro Assessoria Quim SC Ltda, Campinas, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS; v. 8, MAR 16 2018.
Web of Science Citations: 0

Insects have evolved multiple mechanisms to adapt to variations in environmental temperatures, including postural control of solar input, variations in diurnal activity, external morphological structures and selecting/generating microhabitats. Foam produced by Mahanarva fimbriolata nymphs (also known as root spittlebugs) was found to aid in creating a constant thermal microhabitat despite environmental temperature fluctuations. The temperature within the foam was found to be similar to that of soil during the day and remained constant despite fluctuating external temperatures. In chemically analysing the composition of the foam, palmitic and stearic acids, carbohydrates and proteins were detected. These substances have previously been shown to act as a surfactant to stabilize and modulate foams. Since the immature ancestor of the spittlebug developed below ground, it is speculated that the foam may function as an `extension' of the soil and, thus, may have enabled the spittlebug to emerge from the soil and adopt an epigean lifestyle. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 14/50871-0 - INCT 2014: National Institute of Science and Technology of Semiochemicals in Agriculture
Grantee:José Roberto Postali Parra
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants