Water capture by a desert beetle

  title={Water capture by a desert beetle},
  author={Andrew R Parker and Christopher Robert Lawrence},
Some beetles in the Namib Desert collect drinking water from fog-laden wind on their backs. We show here that these large droplets form by virtue of the insect's bumpy surface, which consists of alternating hydrophobic, wax-coated and hydrophilic, non-waxy regions. The design of this fog-collecting structure can be reproduced cheaply on a commercial scale and may find application in water-trapping tent and building coverings, for example, or in water condensers and engines. 
A fog-collecting surface mimicking the Namib beetle: its water collection efficiency and influencing factors.
Water collection efficiency of surfaces inspired by beetles is discussed and their influence on the water collection efficiency from three aspects: surface wettability, surface structure and surface pattern distribution is discussed.
Dew condensation on desert beetle skin
From the surface coverage of the condensed drops it was found that dew forms primarily in the valleys between the bumps, whereas the surface of the bumps is smooth, and the difference in droplet nucleation rate between bumps and valleys can be attributed to the hexagonal microstructure on the surfaces of the valleys.
Fog-basking behaviour and water collection efficiency in Namib Desert Darkling beetles
It is found that the second largest O. unguicularis is the only one of the four beetles that assumes the head standing fog-basking behaviour, and that fog is necessary to trigger this behaviour.
Non-wetting wings and legs of the cranefly aided by fine structures of the cuticle
It is demonstrated that this fine hair structure enhances the ability of the hairs to resist penetration into water bodies and can stand on water bodies without its legs penetrating the water surface.
Role of Scale Wettability on Rain-Harvesting Behavior in a Desert-Dwelling Rattlesnake
It is shown that the dorsal scales of the rattlesnake aid in water collection by providing a highly sticky, hydrophobic surface, which pins the impacting water droplets, and this high pinning characteristic stems from surface nanotexture made of shallow, labyrinth-like channels.
Investigation of Morphology and Surface Structure of Stenocara eburnea, Namib Desert Beetle
Fog harvesting Namib Desert beetles such as Onymacris unguicularis have recently inspired various synthetic designs to collect water droplets in the dry, arid conditions, and it was only in 2010 that an actual SEM picture of the apex of the elytra of Stenocara gracilipes has appeared.
Hybrid engineered materials with high water-collecting efficiency inspired by Namib Desert beetles.
Inspired by Namib Desert beetles, a hybrid superhydrophobic surface was fabricated, showing highly efficient fog harvesting with a water collection rate (WCR) of 1309.9 mg h(-1) cm(-2). And, the
Fog-Harvesting Properties of Dryopteris marginata: Role of Interscalar Microchannels in Water-Channeling
The remarkable fog collection and water-channeling properties of Dryopteris marginata are reported and it is inferred that the microlevel hierarchy of the structures make the surface hydrophilic and the multiscale channels allow the efficient passage and transport of water.
Directional water collection on wetted spider silk
Artificial fibres are designed that mimic the structural features of silk and exhibit its directional water-collecting ability by tapping into both driving forces.


Fog basking by the Namib Desert beetle, Onymacris unguicularis
THE Namib Desert along the south-western coast of Africa supports a sand dune fauna without counterpart elsewhere in the world1. The trophic base of the arthropod fauna is wind-blown detritus2.
Body temperatures of Namib Desert tenebrionid beetles: their relationship in laboratory and field
It is concluded that Namib Desert tenebrionid beetles are not forced by biotic or abiotic factors to adopt thermal niches which present them with physiological difficulties and remain within their ‘tolerated range’.
Biology of Desert Invertebrates
  • C. Crawford
  • Environmental Science
    Springer Berlin Heidelberg
  • 1981
This chapter discusses the evolution and present distribution of Deserts, and the role of Climate and Producers Relative to Invertebrate Habitats and Feeding Patterns, as well as Desert Ecosystems: Consumers.
The Study of Evaporation from Small Surfaces by the Direct Measurement of Water Vapour Pressure Gradients
1. The construction, maintenance and calibration of a sensitive instrument capable of making numerous vapour-pressure measurements within humidity gradients by the dew-point method is described. 2.