Journal of Bionic Engineering

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 304–314 | Cite as

Flow visualization of rhinoceros beetle (Trypoxylus dichotomus) in free flight

  • Tien Van Truong
  • Tuyen Quang Le
  • Hieu Trung Tran
  • Hoon Cheol Park
  • Kwang Joon Yoon
  • Doyoung ByunEmail author


Aerodynamic characteristics of the beetle, Trypoxylus dichotomus, which has a pair of elytra (forewings) and flexible hind wings, are investigated. Visualization experiments were conducted for various flight conditions of a beetle, Trypoxylus dichotomus: free, tethered, hovering, forward and climbing flights. Leading edge, trailing edge and tip vortices on both wings were observed clearly. The leading edge vortex was stable and remained on the top surface of the elytron for a wide interval during the downstroke of free forward flight. Hence, the elytron may have a considerable role in lift force generation of the beetle. In addition, we reveal a suction phenomenon between the gaps of the hind wing and the elytron in upstroke that may improve the positive lift force on the hind wing. We also found the reverse clap-fling mechanism of the T. dichotomus beetle in hovering flight. The hind wings touch together at the beginning of the upstroke. The vortex generation, shedding and interaction give a better understanding of the detailed aerodynamic mechanism of beetle flight.


beetle smoke wire visualization free flight hovering flight wing interaction elytron effect 


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Copyright information

© Jilin University 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tien Van Truong
    • 1
  • Tuyen Quang Le
    • 2
  • Hieu Trung Tran
    • 1
  • Hoon Cheol Park
    • 3
  • Kwang Joon Yoon
    • 1
  • Doyoung Byun
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Aerospace Information EngineeringKonkuk UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Costal Engineering and Ocean Energy Research DepartmentKorea Ocean Research and Development InstituteAnsanRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Advanced Technology FusionKonkuk UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Mechanical EngineeringSungkyunkwan UniversitySuwonRepublic of Korea

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