Temperature regulation in the nocturnal melolonthine Sparrmannia flava

S. L. Chown, C. H. Scholtz

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1. 1.|Sparrmannia flava Arrow (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) regulated thoracic temperature (Tth) during flight at 38.6°C over an ambient temperature (Ta) range of 11°C. 2. 2.|Tth and wing loading (19.99 N m-2) were within the range predicted by body mass (0.80 g) based on previous studies of scaling in beetles, although conductance (0.0087 W°C-1) was considerably lower and wingstroke frequency (87 Hz) higher than that previously recorded in beetles of similar mass. 3. 3.|The slope of the regression of abdominal temperature (Tab) on Ta, at Tas > 20°C, was > 1, and physiological heat transfer was demonstrated experimentally, suggesting that low conductance necessitates active heat transfer at high Tas. 4. 4.|Sparrmannia flava's early-morning, anti-predator strategy involves adaptations which make it an exception to previous generalizations concerning the thermal biology of beetles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Coleoptera
  • morphology
  • Sparrmannia flava
  • Thermoregulation
  • wingstroke frequency

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