Table 1 Morphological data and electrical properties for charged test objects and associated web deformations and average speeds of deformation (mean ± S.D. [sample size N]). Body mass, body length and voltage were measured repeatedly on the same insect (3 individuals × 10 repetitions, except for fruit flies with 3 individuals × 5 repetitions) or water drop (20 large drops and 20 small drops). Web deformations were measured on different individual insects (honeybees, N = 3; bottle flies, N = 3 fruit flies, N = 4; aphids, N = 2) and drops. Voltages of charged aphids could not be measured relative to background noise of the sensor. See text for details

From: Spiderweb deformation induced by electrostatically charged insects

Test object Mass (mg) Length (mm) Voltage (kV) Charge (pC) Deformation (mm) Length-normalized web deformation Deformation speed (ms−1)
Honeybee 86 ± 7 (3) 11.7 ± 0.4 (3) 0.5 ± 0.2 (30) 180 ± 61 (30) 2 ± 2 (21) 0.2 ± 0.2 (21) 2 ± 1 (18)
Bottle fly 19 ± 3 (3) 7.9 ± 0.4 (3) 0.3 ± 0.1 (30) 94 ± 18 (30) 1 ± 1 (23) 0.1 ± 0.1 (23) 1.0 ± 0.3 (19)
Fruit fly 2.5 ± 0.4 (3) 3.1 ± 0.2 (3) 0.06 ± 0.02 (15) 22 ± 7 (15) 1 ± 1 (32) 0.2 ± 0.2 (32) 1 ± 1 (24)
Aphid 0.6 ± 0.2 (3) 1.8 ± 0.3 (3) - - 1 ± 1 (9) 0.5 ± 0.4 (9) 0.8 ± 0.4 (7)
Large drop 5 ± 1 (3) 2.2 ± 0.1 (3) 0.22 ± 0.04 (20) 73 ± 14 (20) 1 ± 1 (11) 0.5 ± 0.2 (11) 0.8 ± 0.4 (10)
Small drop 1.6 ± 0.2 (3) 1.4 ± 0.1 (3) 0.14 ± 0.03 (20) 46 ± 9 (20) 1.0 ± 0.4 (10) 0.7 ± 0.3 (10) 0.9 ± 0.4 (9)