The Hot, the Cold, and the Wax Worms: A Study of Extreme Temperatures and Their Effects on the Metabolic Rate of Wax Worms

Emily Kleinholz, Kaylee Norris, Madison Martin, Mary Kurzweil, Meelyn Pandit


Ectothermic animals are animals whose internal body temperature varies based on environmental temperature.  Because of their rising and falling body temperatures, their metabolic rates will also rise and fall with changes in environmental temperature.  In this experiment wax worms were used to test the correlation between temperature and metabolic rate.  Fifteen wax worms were placed in a respiration chamber at 15, 22, and 29 degrees Celsius and oxygen intake was measured every ten seconds for five minutes with four trials at each temperature.  The results showed that the metabolic rate drastically increased for the cold trials, slightly increased for the heat trials, and remained fairly constant for the room temperature trials.  This study provides information on wax worm metabolic rates, an ectotherm that hasn’t been tested before.


thermoregulation, wax worms, metabolism, ectotherm

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