Global players @ 3D terrain: Southern green stink bugs' gripping ease

The highly polyphagous southern green stink bug Nezara viridula prefers apically situated seeds and fruits on more than 150 plant species belonging to over 30 plant families all over the world. They explore highly variable terrains, inclu-ding plant stems, leaves, pods and buds. Stink bugs use long slender legs and feet equipped with paired curved claws, paired soft adhesive pads, and flattened tarsal lanceolate setae for efficient attachment. The combination of smooth and hairy tarsal pads results in remarkable attachment ability, which enables Nezara viridula to climb unstable apical plant parts, and supports their invasive behavior and global dispersion. Our study demonstrates a clear contribution of tarsal flattened lanceolate setae to the stink bug’s attach-ment. Stink bugs generated higher traction forces on a glass rod than on a glass plate, corresponding to up to individual maximum of 43 times the stink bug’s body weight. Substrate hydrophobicity promoted the attachment, while the forces were up to eight times lower when tarsal hairs are disabled.