Eggs of the saturniid gum moth attach using a protein-based secretion that sets to form a highly elastic hydrogel.

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References

“Biochemical and electrophoretic screening of 29 adhesive secretions from Australian insects identified six types that appeared to consist largely of protein. Most were involved in terrestrial egg attachment…The strongest (1–2 MPa) was an egg attachment glue produced by saturniid gum moths of the genus Opodiphthera. ” (Li 2008:85)

“[W]e focused on the protein-based egg attachment glue produced by saturniid gum moths of the genus Opodiphthera. Stored as a treacle-like liquid in the accessory reproductive gland (colleterial gland) reservoirs of gravid females, the viscous fluid sets quickly to form a highly elastic hydrogel that binds newly laid eggs to the substratum and, in some circumstances, to each other. For the 7–10-day interval that normally separates the laying and hatching of eggs, the attachment glue must withstand environmental insults such as heat, wind and rain…The macroscopic properties of this material could make it an attractive target for biotechnological mimicry and subsequent commercial exploitation.” (Li 2008:86)

Journal article
Proteinaceous adhesive secretions from insects, and in particular the egg attachment glue of Opodiphthera sp. mothsLi D; Huson MG; Graham LD

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Living System/s

Organism
Opodiphthera eucalyptiSpecies

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