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The site of loss of water from insects

The site of loss of water from insects

Proceedings Roy Society London B116(797): 139-149

An apparatus is descr. which measures the amt. of water evaporated from an insect, accurate to 0.01 mgm. The rate of loss from larvae of Tenebrio molitor, Tineola biselliella, and Xenopsylla cheopis (larvae and adults) was determined: (1) in dry air; (2) in air containing 5% CO2; (3) in a mixture containing under 1% O2. In insects with a spiracle-closing mechanism, the rate of water loss under the second two conditions (which caused them to keep their spiracles open permanently) was 2-7 times that in dry air. In insects which could not close their spiracles, the rate of water loss was practically the same under all conditions. Two % of CO2 in the air was sufficient to cause insects to keep their spiracles permanently open; O2 had to be reduced below 1% to have the same effect. Apparently practically all the water evaporated from an insect is lost by way of the tracheal system, and a thin integument may be as water tight as one highly "sclerotized.".

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Accession: 023954084

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DOI: 10.1098/rspb.1934.0065

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