Two functional types of attachment pads on a single foot in the Namibia bush cricket Acanthoproctus diadematus (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Insects have developed different structures to adhere to surfaces. Most common are smooth and hairy attachment pads, while nubby pads have also been described for representatives of Mantophasmatodea, Phasmida and Plecoptera. Here we report on the unusual combination of nubby and smooth tarsal attachment structures in the !nara cricket Acanthoproctus diadematus. Their three proximal tarsal pads (euplantulae) have a nubby surface, whereas the most distal euplantula is rather smooth with a hexagonal ground pattern resembling that described for the great green bush-cricket Tettigonia viridissima. This is, to our knowledge, the first report on nubby euplantulae in Orthoptera and the co-occurrence of nubby and smooth euplantulae on a single tarsus in a polyneopteran species. When adhering upside down to a horizontal glass plate, A. diadematus attaches its nubby euplantulae less often, compared to situations in which the animal is hanging upright or head down on a vertical plate. We discuss possible reasons for this kind of clinging behaviour, such as morphological constrains, the different role of normal and shear forces in attachment enhancement of the nubby and smooth pads, ease of the detachment process, and adaptations to walking on cylindrical substrates.


  • Constanze Grohmann
  • Miriam Henze
  • Thomas Nørgaard
  • Stanislav N. Gorb
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Zoology


  • adhesion, friction, locomotion, insect, morphology, Hetrodinae
Original languageEnglish
Article number20142976
JournalRoyal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
Issue number1809
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch