Microstructure and wettability on the elytral surface of aquatic beetle

Mingxia Sun, Aiping Liang, Gregory S. Watson, Jolanta A. Watson, Yongmei Zheng, Lei Jiang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

2 Citations (Scopus)


The microstructures on elytral surface of aquatic beetles belonging to Hydrophilidae and Dytiscidae were observed under an environment scanning microscope, and the wettabilities were determined with an optical contact angle meter. The results show the elytral surfaces are relatively smooth compared to the structures of other insects such as the butterfly wing scales or cicada wing protrusions. They exhibit a polygonal structuring with grooves and pores being the main constituent units. The contact angles (CAs) range from 47.1° to 82.1°. The advancing and receding angles were measured by injecting into and withdrawing a small amount of water on the most hydrophilic (with a contact angle of 47.1°) and hydrophobic (with a contact angle of 82.1°) elytral surfaces, which illustrates the vital role of three-phase contact line (TCL) in the wetting mechanism of aquatic beetle elytral surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationApplied Mechanics and Materials
EditorsLuquan Ren, Hao Wang, Zhendong Dai
Place of PublicationPfaffikon Switzerland
PublisherTrans Tech Publications
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783037859322
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference of Bionic Engineering (ICBE) 2013 - Nanjing, China
Duration: 13 Aug 201316 Aug 2013
Conference number: 4th


ConferenceInternational Conference of Bionic Engineering (ICBE) 2013
Abbreviated titleICBE 2013
Internet address


  • Bionic
  • Contact angle hyteresis
  • Elytral surface
  • Microstructure
  • Wettability

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