Effects of Temperature on CO2 Production and Behavior of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

Shelby Robinson, Kathryn Puckett, Sarah Bounds, Tristen Roach, Noemi Reyes


In order to answer the question of the impact of external temperature on metabolic rate and behavior in ectotherms, we hypothesized that higher environmental temperatures would result in greater CO2 production and increased activity.  Our lab group placed Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches in a respiration chamber where we measured the CO2 production, and observed the changes in behavior at temperatures of approximately 12° C, 23° C, and 30° C. We found our hypothesis was supported by our data and observations, which demonstrated that higher external temperatures result in greater CO2 production and increased activity; the opposite was demonstrated by colder temperatures. We were able to conclude that, because ectotherms rely on their environmental temperature to regulate their internal temperature, the increase in metabolic rate and activity is due to the changes in their environment. 

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