Differentiation of Thermoregulatory Responses in Two Life Stages of the Mealworm

Knight Jacqulyn, Ashley Meade, Riley Smith, Cody Barnes


 Many studies have been done analyzing the effects of metabolic rates on organisms when external temperatures were manipulated (Long et al 2015). However, few experiments have been conducted comparing and contrasting the oxygen emission levels in extreme temperatures of the same species at different points in their life cycle. This is why our experiment entails measuring the oxygen levels at ambient, cold, and hot temperatures of the larval form of mealworms and their adult counterpart, the beetle. We hypothesize that as temperature increases, the metabolic rates of the larval and adult beetle forms of the mealworm will also increase and that there will be a higher increase in metabolic rate in the larval form because of its higher ratio of surface area to volume. Study into this matter contributes positively to the scientific body of knowledge by informing us of the possible effects phenomenon like global warming may have on different ectotherms like the mealworm and their various life stages. To test our hypothesis, we created an experiment where we heated and cooled a container to our desired temperature, placed our organisms within the container, and measured the rate of respiration. Overall, our experiment showed the rate of respiration increased in both life stages in the hot temperature extreme. Our hypothesis was supported by the data.



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