Leafhoppers Are Coated with Hollow Nano-Scale Spheres That Absorb and Scatter Light and May Help Them Hide from Predators

by Science Writer Kim Woolcock

Brochosomes

Research on tiny backyard insects called leafhoppers may help engineers design next-generation camouflage. Leafhoppers coat themselves in nano-scale spheres called brochosomes, and their purpose has long puzzled scientists. An open-access article titled “Geometric Design of Antireflective Leafhopper Brochosomes,” published on March 18, 2024 in PNAS, reveals that brochosomes’ size and shape are optimized to reduce light reflection, likely helping leafhoppers to hide from predators.

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