Thermoregulation in endothermic dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): effect of body size and ecophysiological constraints in flight

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2006
Authors:J. R. Verdu, Arellano, L., Numa, C.
Journal:Journal of Insect Physiology
Keywords:body size, Ecophysiology, Null models, Scarabaeoidea., Scarabs, thermoregulation

We explore the physiological constraints of body temperature as related to body mass and ambient temperature during flight in endothermic dung beetles showing a mass-related breakpoint where species show strong vs. weak endothermy. We found two different strategies in the dung beetles prior to flight; larger beetles (41.9 g) elevate and maintain their body temperature (Tb) at levels well above ambient temperature (Ta) whereas smaller beetles’ (o1.9 g) Tb tends to conform with Ta. Physiological constraints analysis revealed a constant maximum tolerated temperature (in flight) of 42 1C and a minimum temperature for flight of around 25 1C. These, with body mass, may play a role in thermal niche partitioning and geographical distribution patterns.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith