The Effect of Temperature on the Dermestid Beetle

George Crane, Natalie Gajan, Johnathon Edison, Jillian Fetkovich, Elizabeth Dawkins


Ectothermic animals manage their internal body temperature through the ambient temperature of their surroundings (French 2016). In a study by Howard Hurd and his collaborators, it was shown that, when given the choice between three different temperature ranges, the cricket spends the majority of its time in a warmer section (2016). We hypothesized that a dermestid beetle would spend more of its time in a warmer environment rather than a cooler environment as a result of increased metabolic rate. For this experiment, a dermestid beetle was placed in a plastic bin separated into three sections: warm, cold, and room temperature. The beetle’s location was documented every thirty seconds. On average the beetle spent the most time in the cold section of the container; however, this does not necessarily mean that this is where the beetle was most comfortable. Our results did not support our hypothesis. This experiment can help to better understand the thermoregulatory needs of the dermestid beetle.

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