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Effects of temperature, fungal infection and weight on intermoult duration and survival of starving larvae in the European earwig

Abstract : Moulting is a cornerstone of arthropods development. It can be determined by numerous factors such as body mass, temperature, and immunity. However, the effects of these factors can be dependent on each other, so that it is often difficult to predict whether and how they shape moulting, and whether their effects are additive or interactive. In this study, we addressed these questions by testing the effects of body mass, ambient temperature, fungal infection and their interaction on intermoult duration and survival in starved juveniles of the European earwig Forficula auricularia. We recorded the date of moult and death of a total of 207 earwig juveniles that were weighed, exposed to different doses of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarizium brunneum and then maintained at either 20°C or 24°C. Our results first reveal that juveniles moulted earlier when they were heavy compared to light on the day of exposure, as well as earlier when maintained at 24°C compared to 20°C. By contrast, pathogen exposure did not affect the moulting date. We also found that nymphs died faster when they were light compared to heavy on the day of exposure, when they were exposed to high (10 6 and 10 7 spores/ml) compared to low (10 4 , 10 5 and 0 spores/ml) pathogen concentrations, and when they were maintained at 24°C compared to 20°C. We detected no sign of interaction between temperature, fungal infection and body mass on both moulting and survival. Overall, these findings shed light on the limited importance of infection on moulting in starved juveniles, and reveal that weight, temperature, and infection have additive effects on their survival. More generally, this study emphasizes that the three tested factors do not necessarily interact to shape key physiological processes in an insect.
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https://hal-univ-tours.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03241476
Contributor : Joël Meunier <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 28, 2021 - 4:29:42 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 3:24:17 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, August 29, 2021 - 7:35:35 PM

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Martin Coulm, Joël Meunier. Effects of temperature, fungal infection and weight on intermoult duration and survival of starving larvae in the European earwig. Journal of Insect Physiology, Elsevier, 2021, pp.104262. ⟨10.1016/j.jinsphys.2021.104262⟩. ⟨hal-03241476⟩

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