Worming it Up and Cooling it down: Tenebrio molitor and The Effects of Various Temperatures on Metabolic Rates

Justin Hoppe, Noelie Bircher, Aubrey Harris, Garicka Jackson, Ty Hill


Tenebrio molitor (Mealworms) are ectotherms, meaning their metabolic rate is affected by the environment and temperature around them. Our hypothesis is, because mealworms are ectotherms they will have increasing metabolic rates with warmer temperatures and decreasing metabolic rates in colder temperatures. We measured the metabolic rates by placing the mealworms in a bio chamber and measuring the amount of CO2 expelled at room temperature (approximately 25℃), in a colder temperature (approximately 20℃), and warmer temperature (approximately 30℃). The results showed higher metabolic rates in warmer temperatures and lower metabolic rates at cooler temperatures. This experiment supported our hypothesis that metabolic rates increase and decrease with temperature due to them being ectothermic.

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