|Jewelweed seedpod waiting to pop|
I always have to stop and squeeze a few plump seedpods...
|Jewelweed's ballistic seed dispersal mechanism in action|
Poof!Here is a link to a paper on the mechanics of jewelweed's explosive seed dispersal.
The other day when I was trying to freeze (photograph) these explosive seed dispersal events, I noticed a couple of aphids and a tiny green caterpillar on a plump seedpod. In the photo below, the caterpillar is standing straight as if it is ready for launch, but actually it is trying to hide by pretending to be a stem. Let's just say this caterpillar doesn't realize what it is sitting on is programmed to explode.
Three, two, one, squeeze...
That was kinda' fun!
I was unable to follow the flight trajectory of the caterpillar, but I doubt it was harmed, just suddenly relocated.
Here is a post on violet's seed dispersal by explosion.