Stories

Alison Snyder May 18, 2017
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How a ladybug folds its wings

Kazuya Saito

Japanese scientists put a transparent artificial wing on a ladybug to see how the insects fold and store their stiff flying wings. Why? They propose it could inform the design of satellites, aircraft, and everyday objects like fans and umbrellas.

How it works: Using high-speed cameras, the researchers saw that the insects use the edge and lower part of the hard outer elytra to fold the wings like origami while at the same time lifting their abdomens to pull their soft hindwings into their storage space.