Effects of developmental change in body size on ectotherm body temperature and behavioral thermoregulation: caterpillars in a heat-stressed environment

Matthew E. Nielsen, Daniel R Papaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ectotherms increase in size dramatically during development, and this growth should have substantial effects on their body temperature and ability to thermoregulate. To better understand how this change in size affects temperature, we examined the direct effects of body size on body temperature in Battus philenor caterpillars, and also how body size affects both the expression and effectiveness of thermal refuge-seeking, a thermoregulatory behavior. Field studies of both live caterpillars and physical operative temperature models indicated that caterpillar body temperature increases with body size. The operative temperature models also showed that thermal refuges have a greater cooling effect for larger caterpillars, while a laboratory study found that larger caterpillars seek refuges at a lower temperature. Although the details may vary, similar connections between developmental growth, temperature, and thermoregulation should be common among ectotherms and greatly affect both their development and thermal ecology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
JournalOecologia
Volume177
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Battus philenor
  • Body size
  • Body temperature
  • Growth
  • Thermoregulatory behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Medicine(all)

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