Copyright © 2020 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The beetle’s survival depends on two key factors: its ability to convincingly play dead and an exoskeleton that’s one of the toughest, most crush-resistant structures known to exist in the biological world. “The ironclad is a terrestrial beetle, so it’s not lightweight and fast but built more like a little tank,” said principle investigator and corresponding author David Kisailus, UCI professor of materials science & engineering. According to a new study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, the diabolical ironclad beetle's near-invincibility is thanks to the insect's touch exoskeleton and its remarkable ability to play dead. The project – which received support from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the U.S. Army Research Office, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology’s Institute of Global Innovation Research – also included researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Ironclad Beetles Zopheridae 1. ", New research has revealed the nanoscale secrets of the diabolical ironclad beetle's near-indestructible exoskeleton, one of the most crush-resistant structures in the animal kingdom. Native to desert habitats in Southern California, the diabolical ironclad beetle has an exoskeleton that’s one of the toughest, most crush-resistant structures known to exist in the animal kingdom. That means it can be run over by a car — and live to tell the tale. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu. They found that the diabolical ironclad beetle can withstand a force of about 39,000 times its body weight. Further microscopic examination by Rivera disclosed that the outside surfaces of these blades feature arrays of rodlike elements called microtrichia that the scientists believe act as frictional pads, providing resistance to slippage. Lead author Jesus Rivera, a graduate student in Kisailus’ lab during the project who has since earned his Ph.D., first learned of these organisms in 2015 during a visit to the renowned entomology museum at UC Riverside, where he and Kisailus were working at the time. They also validated that the geometry, the material components and their assembly are critical in making the beetle’s exoskeleton so tough and robust. Native to desert habitats in Southern California, the diabolical ironclad beetle has an exoskeleton that's one of the toughest, most crush-resistant structures known to … Researchers used a 3D printer to create a similar structural arrangement with synthetic materials. The team also investigated the geometry of the medial suture joining the two parts of the elytra together and found that it looks very much like interlocking pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Photograph: Nature. Other species of the genus Zopherus, which contains 19 species, are known from western Texas. The results confirmed that during compression, the suture – rather than breaking at the thinnest point – slowly delaminates without catastrophic failure. UC Irvine researchers led a project to study the components and architectures responsible for making the creature so indestructible. They can do that, researchers discovered, thanks to hardened casings … This 2016 photo provided by the University of California, Irvine, shows a diabolical ironclad beetle, which can withstand being crushed by forces almost 40,000 times its body weight and are native to desert habitats in Southern California. Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. “The ironclad is a terrestrial beetle, so it’s not lightweight and fast but built more like a little tank,” lead author David Kisailus, a UCI professor of materials science and engineering, said in a news release. This diabolical ironclad super-beetle can survive being run over by a car — and help with engineering problems By Amy Woodyatt, CNN | Posted - Oct. 23, 2020 at 11:33 a.m. "The ironclad is a terrestrial beetle, so it's not lightweight and fast but built more like a little tank," study co-author David Kisailus said in a news release. Imaging scans showed the beetle's exoskeleton yields much of its strength from the elytra. Scientists estimate their research will have a variety of applications in structural and material engineering. But why? Conducting a series of high-resolution microscopic and spectroscopic evaluations, Rivera and Kisailus learned that the bug’s secret lies in the material makeup and architecture of its exoskeleton, specifically, its elytra. When scientists looked at how the ironclad's two elytra are sutured together, they found the shields fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Birds, lizards and rodents frequently try to make a meal of it but seldom succeed. “But we don’t see that sort of catastrophic split with this species of beetle. Sure enough, the scientists found that the beetle-inspired structure was both stronger and tougher than current engineering fasteners. "When you break a puzzle piece, you expect it to separate at the neck, the thinnest part," Kisailus said. Rivera collected the beetles from sites around the Inland Empire campus and brought them back to Kisailus’ lab to perform compression tests, comparing the results to those of other species native to Southern California. The diabolical ironclad beetle is so tough, it can survive getting run over by a car applying ~100 newtons of force. 2. "But we don't see that sort of catastrophic split with this species of beetle. The diabolical ironclad beetle can withstand forces up to 39,000 times its body weight. The beetle's elytra are composed of layers of a fibrous material called chitin and supported by a protein matrix. In collaboration with a group led by Atsushi Arakaki and his graduate student Satoshi Murata, both from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, they examined the chemical composition of the exoskeleton of a lighter flying beetle and compared it to that of their earthbound subject. Among flying beetles, the elytra operate as forewing blades, a kind of sheath for a beetle's wings. "Luckily, this program, which is sponsored by the Air Force, really enables us to form these multidisciplinary teams that helped connect the dots to lead to this significant discovery. Lab tests showed the beetle can survive forces up to 39,000 times its body weight. Southern California’s diabolical ironclad beetle can even survive being run over by car October 21, 2020 Native to desert habitats in Southern California, the diabolical ironclad beetle has an exoskeleton that’s one of the toughest, most crush-resistant structures known to … Instead, it delaminates, providing for a more graceful failure of the structure.”. UCI researchers led a project to study the components and architectures responsible for making the creature so indestructible. The diabolical ironclad beetle, a desert bug native to California, can withstand nearly 40,000 times its body weight. Summary 3. Using high-resolution microscopic and spectroscopic imaging surveys, researchers were able to pinpoint the nanoscale characteristics that make its exoskeleton so sturdy. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. When compressed, the components don't shatter, but instead experience delamination, or layered fracturing. ... co-author of the study from the University of California, Irvine. Oct. 21 (UPI) --Like the boss at the end of a video game, California's diabolical ironclad beetle is seemingly indestructible.Getting run over by a car is no sweat for the resilient beetle. Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Like the boss at the end of a video game, California's diabolical ironclad beetle is seemingly indestructible. The diabolical ironclad beetle, a Southern California native, can withstand being crushed by forces almost 40,000 times its body weight. Instead, it delaminates, providing for a more graceful failure of the structure.". Photo by Jesus Rivera/UCI, Longest night of 2020 to feature year's final meteor shower, SpaceX launches U.S. spy satellite; Falcon 9 first stage returns, ULA aims for launch of new Vulcan rocket at end of 2021, Electromagnetic images help scientists deconstruct ancient Jewish parchment, Giant mouse relative dubbed 'crazy beast' shared Gondwana with dinosaurs. He’s a materials scientist at the University of California, Irvine. Irvine, Calif., Oct. 21, 2020 – With one of the more awe-inspiring names in the animal kingdom, the diabolical ironclad beetle is one formidable insect. The results of his experiment revealed that, rather than snapping at the “neck” region of these interlocks, the microstructure within the elytra blades gives way via delamination, or layered fracturing. In … Amber fossils reveal true colors of 99 million-year-old insects, Sexual competition, choice helps protect species from extinction, Forest-killing bark beetles also might help ecosystem, experts say, Material protecting beetle could have medical, engineering applications. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. If ever there were an insect deserving of superhero status, it’d be the diabolical ironclad beetle. Nosoderma diabolicum (formerly Phloeodes diabolicus), common name: diabolical ironclad beetle, is a beetle of the Family Zopheridae.It is found in deserts of western North America, where it lives on fungi growing under tree bark.It is flightless and has a lifespan of two years, which compared to the weeks or months long lifespan of a typical beetle goes to show the value of protection. Kisailus said he sees great promise in the ironclad beetle’s exoskeleton and other biological systems for new substances to benefit humanity. Models showed the design maximized the material's strength and durability. “This study really bridges the fields of biology, physics, mechanics and materials science toward engineering applications, which you don’t typically see in research,” Kisailus said. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. In its desert habitat in the U.S. Southwest, the beetle can be found under rocks and in trees, squeezed between the bark and the trunk – another reason it needs to have a durable exterior. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists. In aerial beetles, elytra are the forewing blades that open and close to safeguard the flight wings from bacteria, desiccation and other sources of harm. Its exoskeleton (integument) is extremely hard. In a study published in Nature, a British scientific journal, researchers explain this particular species of beetle is so squash-resistant because the insect's armor is layered and pieced together like a jigsaw. Kisailus sent Rivera to work with Dula Parkinson and Harold Barnard at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where they performed high-resolution experiments to pinpoint the changes within the structures in real time using extremely powerful X-rays. Jesus Rivera / UCI, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Tell Your Toddlers That Santa Claus Got His COVID-19 Vaccination, U of California-Irvine develops model to predict COVID-19 outcomes: 5 details, UC numbers soar, Cal State tumbles as pandemic upends college application season. A 200-pound man would have to endure the crushing weight of 7.8 million pounds to equal this feat. And the species' more common enemies, hungry birds, lizards and rodents, are regularly frustrated by the hardy beetle. The study, led by engineers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and Purdue University, found that the diabolical ironclad beetle’s super-toughness lies in its two armorlike “elytron” that meet at a line, called a suture, running the length of the abdomen. The diabolical ironclad beetle's elytra have evolved into a super strong, stationary shield. The diabolical ironclad beetle dwells in desert regions of western North America. Tests showed the beetle's structural genius -- and the 3D-printed material it inspired -- outperforms the traditional rivets and fasteners used for aircraft segments and reinforce stress points. To find out, researchers at the University of California, Irvine and … ... a materials scientist and engineer at the University of California, Irvine. The beetle is native to desert habitats in Southern California. The diabolical ironclad beetle is, as its name suggests, one tough insect.Clad in super-tough body armour, the beetle can survive the heaviest of forces - as much as being run over by a car. One impressive example is found in the exoskeletal forewings (elytra) of the diabolical ironclad beetle, Phloeodes diabolicus. To further substantiate their experimental observations, Rivera and co-authors Maryam Hosseini and David Restrepo – both from Pablo Zavattieri’s lab at Purdue University – employed 3D printing techniques to create their own structures of the same design. "That's its adaptation: It can't fly away, so it just stays put and lets its specially designed armor take the abuse until the predator gives up," said Kisailus, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California, Irvine. The aptly named diabolical ironclad beetle can withstand being crushed by forces almost 40,000 times its body weight. For more UCI news, visit news.uci.edu. “That’s its adaptation: It can’t fly away, so it just stays put and lets its specially designed armor take the abuse until the predator gives up.”. A stink beetle or a Namibian beetle are more rounded. They ran tests revealing that the arrangement provides the maximum amount of strength and durability. The diabolical ironclad beetle has a shell so tough it can be survive being run over by a car. A cross section of the medial suture, where two halves of the diabolical ironclad beetle’s elytra meet, shows the puzzle piece configuration that’s among the keys to the insect’s incredible durability. Using powerful X-ray imaging technology, researchers observed the behavior of the beetle's nanoscale exoskeleton features while getting crushed. In a paper published today in Nature, researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions reveal the material components – and their nano- and microscale blueprints – that make the organism so indestructible, while also demonstrating how engineers can benefit from these designs. “When you break a puzzle piece, you expect it to separate at the neck, the thinnest part,” Kisailus said. Common Name: “Ironclad” beetle Scientific Name: Zopherus nodulosus haldemani Horn Order: Coleoptera Description: The striking adult beetle is 5/8 to 1 3/16 inch long and the body is adorned by a black and creamy white blotchy color pattern. What makes the diabolical ironclad beetle (the insect's actual common name) so indestructible? Closer examination revealed the presence of rodlike elements called microtrichia that researchers estimate work like friction pads, preventing layers from slipping when they experience delamination. The ironclad’s elytra have evolved to become a solid, protective shield. UCI’s third annual Anti-Cancer Challenge sets fundraising record, UCI Center on Stress & Health awarded $6.3 million by National Institutes of Health, Native to desert habitats in Southern California, the diabolical ironclad beetle has an exoskeleton that’s one of the toughest, most crush-resistant structures known to exist in the animal kingdom. Analysis by Kisailus and Rivera showed that the elytra consists of layers of chitin, a fibrous material, and a protein matrix. They joined their biomimetic composite to an aluminum coupling and conducted mechanical testing to determine if there were any advantages versus standard aerospace fasteners in binding dissimilar materials. Lacking the ability to fly away from predators, this desert insect has extremely impact-resistant and crush-resistant elytra, produced by complex and graded interfaces. The aptly named diabolical ironclad beetle can withstand being crushed by forces almost 40,000 times its body weight. His team, including UC Riverside undergraduate Drago Vasile, mimicked the elliptical, interlocking pieces of the diabolical ironclad beetle’s exoskeleton with carbon fiber-reinforced plastics. The imagines revealed what scientists suspected -- the layers of the elytra and surrounding exoskeleton slowly delaminate, but avoid structural failure. Getting run over by a car is no sweat for the resilient beetle. Aulonium longum Bitoma gracilis Bitoma ornata Bitoma sulcata Coxelus serratus Hyporhagus gilensis Lasconotus laqueatus Lasconotus linearis Lasconotus nucleatus Lasconotus pertenuis About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The diabolical ironclad beetle can survive loads of about 39,000 times its body weight. The Purdue team’s models showed that not only does the geometry enable a stronger interlock, but the lamination provides a more reliable interface. Researchers from Purdue University and the University of California, Irvine, studied the aptly named diabolical ironclad beetle -- Phloeodes diabolicus -- to understand the secret behind its strength. The diabolical ironclad beetle’s outer layer has a significantly higher concentration of protein – about 10 percent more by weight­­ – which the researchers suggest contributes to the enhanced toughness of the elytra. His lab has been making advanced, fiber-reinforced composite materials based on these characteristics, and he envisions the development of novel ways to fuse aircraft segments together without the use of traditional rivets and fasteners, which each represent a stress point in the structure. Known Species per The California Beetle Database. “Luckily, this program, which is sponsored by the Air Force, really enables us to form these multidisciplinary teams that helped connect the dots to lead to this significant discovery.”. Rivera built a device inside an electron microscope to observe how these connections perform under compression, similar to how they might respond in nature. ironclad beetle california videos and latest news articles; GlobalNews.ca your source for the latest news on ironclad beetle california . It has a distinctly hard-to-squish shape, notes David Kisailus. 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