Thermoregulatory stilting in tiger beetles cicindela hybrida l

Dreisig, H.

Journal of Arid Environments 19(3): 297-302

1990


ISSN/ISBN: 0140-1963
Accession: 007948099

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Abstract
Tiger beetles gradually raise their bodies away from the hot ground when foraging at high temperatures, thereby reducing the body temperature (Tb) compared with that of a non-stilting beetle. Stilting follows a basking-foraging phase and is initiated when Tb can no longer be kept at the preferred level (33.5.degree. C) by a normal posture. Stilting height increased from 3.7 to c. 8.5 mm, while Tb increased from 33.5% to 39.5.degree. C. At the same time the temperature of a non-stilting beetle increased to 43.5.degree. C. Maximal stilting height and the upper temperature limit for activity simultaneously. The stilting behaviour results in a longer daily activity period and a Tb closer to the optimal level for foraging.