Higher temperatures and their effects on mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) metabolism

Elizabeth Carlson, Ryan Grewe, Nick Mason, Yasmine Bayana, Blair Callaway




Since Carbon dioxide is a waste product from metabolism, the amount of CO2 released should indicate an increase or decrease in metabolic rate. To examine if mealworms release increased levels of CO2 because of higher temperatures, 5 mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) were selected and monitored under two different temperature conditions. For the experiment, we measured the amount of CO2 released by the mealworms over a span of five minutes using various equipment and software devices. We discovered after our trials the amount of CO2 released from the mealworms was elevated in the higher temperatures than at room temperature. We believe this is because mealworms are ectotherms and are dependent on their surrounding environment for increasing their body temperature and metabolism. Since mealworms are ectotherms and have body temperatures similar to their surrounding environment, we predict that a higher temperature will increase the metabolism and CO2 levels of these insects.

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