Response of CO₂ output to decreasing ambient temperatures in Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa)

Tyler Johnson, Shelbi LaMascus, Mandy Lawson, Caitlynn Land, Tyler Ryan


As ectothermic organisms, Madagascar hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa) rely on external sources of heat for thermoregulation. We observed if, and in what way, metabolic rate changes in response to colder ambient temperatures. CO₂ output is representative of metabolic rate because it is produced in cellular respiration. Using a CO₂ probe, we determined the rate of CO₂ output at three different temperatures (8.4°C, 14.2°C, 22°C) and compared them. Our results did not support our hypothesis, and in fact indicated the opposite. The rate of CO₂ output increased as we lowered the temperature. Based on these results, Madagascar hissing cockroaches would be better suited for warmer temperatures, although studies could be conducted on the effect of behavior on metabolism. 

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