Numerous microscopic studies on insect cuticle have described the remarkable diversity of surface protuberances. In some functional systems, the presence of fields of tiny protuberances on the animal body may result in an increase of
the frictional or/and adhesive forces in the region of contact with the corresponding surface or with the variety of surfaces. Many insects bear leg attachment pads with an excellent ability to adhere to a smooth surface as well
as to a variety of natural surfaces with rough profiles. There are two alternative designs of such systems: smooth and hairy. The smooth systems consist of soft deformable structures with a relatively smooth surface. Pads of
flies, dobsonflies, earwigs, and beetles are covered by relatively long, deformable setae which, due to individual bending, increase the number of contacting points with the surface.
We studied a broad variety of mechanical systems of the insect cuticle adapted for attachment. Such systems, as leg pads, head-arresting system, wing-to-body locking devices, and intersegmental frictional areas of leg articulations
contain surfaces evolved to fix parts of the body to each other, or to attach themselves to the substratum. Attachment provided by these systems is fast, precise and reversible. In order to show the different principles of morphology, ultrastructure and biomechanics of the systems, several examples were experimentally tested and the general rules of the interrelationship between the design and function were outlined. Biomechanical, ecological, and evolutionary aspects of insect attachment devices will be discussed.
Species 1: Coleoptera Chrysomelidae Gastrophysaviridula Species 2: Diptera Calliphoridae Calliphoravicina Species 3: Orthoptera Tettigoniidae Tettigoniaviridissima Keywords: biomechanics, Odonata