Legless gall midge larvae (maggots) that emerge early from their gall homes have an amazing escape strategy; they leap despite their lack of limbs. Curling its body into a loop, each maggot presses down on the rear portion of its body, which forms an improvised limb that presses on the ground to propel the creature into the air. In addition, leaping is 28 times more efficient than crawling over the same distance.
- Journal of Experimental Biology
- US Army Research Laboratory, US Army Research Office, National Science Foundation, Royal Society