Articles by Wah-Keat Lee in JoVE
The Ingestion of Fluorescent, Magnetic Nanoparticles for Determining Fluid-uptake Abilities in Insects Matthew S. Lehnert1, Kristen E. Reiter1, Andrew Bennett1, Patrick D. Gerard2, Qi-Huo Wei3, Miranda Byler1, Huan Yan3, Wah-Keat Lee4 1Department of Biological Sciences, Kent State University at Stark, 2Department of Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University, 3Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University, 4Brookhaven National Laboratory Fluid-feeding insects have the ability to acquire minute quantities of liquids from porous surfaces. This protocol describes a method to directly determine the ability for insects to ingest liquids from porous surfaces using feeding solutions with fluorescent, magnetic nanoparticles.
Other articles by Wah-Keat Lee on PubMed
Biomechanics. Mechanistic Origins of Bombardier Beetle (Brachinini) Explosion-induced Defensive Spray Pulsation Science (New York, N.Y.). | Pubmed ID: 25931557 Bombardier beetles (Brachinini) use a rapid series of discrete explosions inside their pygidial gland reaction chambers to produce a hot, pulsed, quinone-based defensive spray. The mechanism of brachinines' spray pulsation was explored using anatomical studies and direct observation of explosions inside living beetles using synchrotron x-ray imaging. Quantification of the dynamics of vapor inside the reaction chamber indicates that spray pulsation is controlled by specialized, contiguous cuticular structures located at the junction between the reservoir (reactant) and reaction chambers. Kinematics models suggest passive mediation of spray pulsation by mechanical feedback from the explosion, causing displacement of these structures.
Mouthpart Conduit Sizes of Fluid-feeding Insects Determine the Ability to Feed from Pores Proceedings. Biological Sciences. | Pubmed ID: 28053058 Fluid-feeding insects, such as butterflies, moths and flies (20% of all animal species), are faced with the common selection pressure of having to remove and feed on trace amounts of fluids from porous surfaces. Insects able to acquire fluids that are confined to pores during drought conditions would have an adaptive advantage and increased fitness over other individuals. Here, we performed feeding trials using solutions with magnetic nanoparticles to show that butterflies and flies have mouthparts adapted to pull liquids from porous surfaces using capillary action as the governing principle. In addition, the ability to feed on the liquids collected from pores depends on a relationship between the diameter of the mouthpart conduits and substrate pore size diameter; insects with mouthpart conduit diameters larger than the pores cannot successfully feed, thus there is a limiting substrate pore size from which each species can acquire liquids for fluid uptake. Given that natural selection independently favoured mouthpart architectures that support these methods of fluid uptake (Diptera and Lepidoptera share a common ancestor 280 Ma that had chewing mouthparts), we suggest that the convergence of this mechanism advocates this as an optimal strategy for pulling trace amounts of fluids from porous surfaces.