Temperature-dependence of metabolic rate in Glossina morsitans morsitans (Diptera, Glossinidae) does not vary with gender, age, feeding, pregnancy or acclimation

John S. Terblanche, C. Jaco Klok, Steven L. Chown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


While variation in metabolic rate at a single temperature can occur for a variety of reasons and the effect of temperature is well established in insects, within-generation variation of metabolic rate-temperature relationships has been relatively poorly explored. In this study, we investigate the effects of gender, age, feeding and pregnancy, as well as three acclimation temperatures (19, 24, 29°C), on standard metabolic rate and its temperature-dependence within post-developmental (i.e. non-teneral) adult G. morsitans morsitans. Although most of the independent variables influenced metabolic rate at a single test temperature (P<0.001 in most cases), and cold-acclimation resulted in significant up-regulation of metabolic rate at all test temperatures relative to 24 and 29°C acclimation (P<0.0001), mass-independent metabolic rate-temperature relationships were surprisingly invariant over all experimental groups (P>0.05 in all cases). Slopes of log10 metabolic rate (ml CO2 h-1) against temperature (°C) ranged from a minimum of 0.03035 (±S.E.=0.003) in young fasted females to a maximum of 0.03834 (±0.004) in mature fasted males. These findings have implications for predicting the metabolic responses of tsetse flies to short-term temperature variation and may also have applications for modelling tsetse population dynamics as a function of temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)861-870
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Evolutionary trade-off
  • Metabolic cold adaptation
  • Q effect
  • Universal temperature dependence
  • Within-generation plasticity

Cite this