ESA Southeastern Branch Meeting Online Program

29 Effects of starvation on the metabolic rate of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius

Monday, March 4, 2013: 1:40 PM
Louisiana Room (Hilton Baton Rouge)
Zachary C. DeVries , Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Stephen A. Kells , Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Arthur G. Appel , Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Bed bugs, Cimex lectularius L., have become a prominent pest in the urban environment.  Despite their immense importance, there is currently a lack in basic information about this pest.  Specifically, we know very little about the effects of feeding and starvation on their metabolism and what metabolic modifications allow prolonged starvation.  To investigate this, we measured the metabolic rate of all life stages for over 800 h after feeding using closed system respirometry.  Metabolic rate (V̇O2) declined significantly with the period of starvation for adults.  Similarly, V̇O2 declined significantly with the post molting period for immatures (used to standardize all immature life stages).  In all cases, V̇O2 declined as a power function, and in some cases declined over 86% after 800h of starvation.  Even though V̇O2 values declined over time, the ratio of V̇CO2 to V̇O2 (respiratory quotient) remained relatively constant, indicating that starving bed bugs use the same metabolic substrate as recently fed bed bugs.  In addition, we found that all metabolic rates showed time spans of relatively little change, suggesting that bed bug metabolic rates decline, then remain constant, then decline again.  These results are discussed in terms of the life history of the bed bug.
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