71th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics (November 18, 2018 — November 20, 2018)

V0061: Insect pee: Ultrafast fluidic ejection from sharpshooters

Authors
  • Elio Challita, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Soham Sinha, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Rodrigo Krugner, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Saad Bhamla, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Sharpshooters are agricultural pests that “suck” copious amounts of fluid from plants and spread Pierce’s disease which threatens California’s multi-billion agricultural industry. A single sharpshooter can ingest up to 300 times their body weight per day in xylem fluid making them extreme biological pumps. To prevent fluidic build-up, they constantly have to release droplet excrements before ejecting them in the form of “pee” at ultra-high speeds. Large numbers of sharpshooters feeding may lead to an effect known as “leafhopper rain”. Understanding the underpinnings of these phenomena may shed light on the transmission of diseases from sharpshooters and inspire the design of pumps for various applications.

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