These Insects Beat the Heat with Foam!

How do you plan to beat the heat this summer? Well, some pests have different plans for this summer. They plan to produce foam that can insulate them from the heat! Recently, researchers from Brazil have discovered this pest in sugarcane plantations. A certain kind of spittlebug, Mahanarva fimbriolata, which is also a pest in nature, resides in the roots of the sugarcane plants. The spittlebug produces foam that helps in protecting its nymphs. The foam has an insulating effect and helps against the tremendous heat. The temperature maintained inside the foam is same as that of the soil and continues to be about 2⁰ lower than the atmosphere. This temperature is suitable for the insect’s development. On analyzing the chemical composition of the foam, an abundance of palmitic and stearic acid was found. These act as the surfactant (detergent-like substance) and produce bubbles for nymph protection.

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