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Title

Beetle exoskeleton may facilitate body heat acting differentially across the electromagnetic spectrum

AuthorsCarrascal, Luis M. ; Jiménez Ruiz, Yolanda; Lobo, Jorge M.
KeywordsExoskeleton
Radiation source
Interspecific differences
Dung beetles
Body position
Heating rates
Issue Date6-Jul-2017
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
CitationPhysiological and Biochemical Zoology 90(3): 338-347 (2017)
AbstractExoskeletons of beetles and their associated morphological characteristics can serve many different functions, including thermoregulation. We study the thermal role of the exoskeleton in 13 Geotrupidae dung beetle species using heating experiments under controlled conditions. The main purpose was to measure the influence of heating sources (solar radiance vs. infrared), animal position (dorsal exposure vs. ventral exposure), species identity, and phylogenetic relationships on internal asymptotic temperatures and heating rates. The thermal response was significantly influenced by phylogenetic relatedness, although it was not affected by the apterous condition. The asymptotic internal temperature of specimens was not affected by the thoracic volume but was significantly higher under simulated sunlight conditions than under infrared radiation and when exposed dorsally as opposed to ventrally. There was thus a significant interaction between heating source and body position. Heating rate was negatively and significantly influenced by thoracic volume, and, although insignificantly slower under simulated sunlight, it was significantly affected by body position, being faster under dorsal exposure. The results constitute the first evidence supporting the hypothesis that the beetle exoskeleton acts differentially across the electromagnetic spectrum determining internal body temperatures. This interesting finding suggests the existence of a kind of passive physiology imposed by the exoskeleton and body size, where interspecific relationships play a minor role.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/152420
DOI10.1086/690200
Identifiersdoi: 10.1086/690200
issn: 1522-2152
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