Presentation Title

The Metabolic Cost and Energy Budget of Ultra-Fast Mites

Faculty Mentor

Jonathan C. Wright

Start Date

23-11-2019 8:45 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 9:30 AM

Location

114

Session

poster 2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

The fastest land animal relative to body size is the terrestrial mite Paratarsotomus macropalpis, yet little is known about how its physiology and feeding behavior are able to support such tremendous speeds. In this project, we used stop-flow respirometry to study the mite’s metabolism at temperatures from 20.5 - 56.4°C and examined the temperature scaling of the Q10. We also collected high frame-rate video footage of feeding behavior in the field and identified prey species. Estimates of metabolic and dietary water gain and transpiratory water loss were used to compile long-term water budgets. Ten arthropod species were identified as potential prey species, and we observed mites feeding on moribund or dead specimens of 4 of these species. Due to its high operative temperatures, P. macropalpis probably specializes on dead or heat-succumbed prey. Calculations showed that preformed water from prey is more important than metabolic water for offsetting evaporative water loss. Animals had lower metabolic rates (measured as VCO2) than predicted from standard allometric scaling models based on body mass and cost of transport. P. macropalpis’ Q10 value of 1.86 was lower than the reported Q10 values for temperate and cold-adapted mites. The lower than predicted metabolic rate may represent an adaptation to the species’ extremely high operative temperatures and/or bottom-up (prey-limited) constraints on energy gain.

Keywords: Paratarsotomus relative speed, thermophile, feeding, metabolism, Q10, water budget

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Nov 23rd, 8:45 AM Nov 23rd, 9:30 AM

The Metabolic Cost and Energy Budget of Ultra-Fast Mites

114

The fastest land animal relative to body size is the terrestrial mite Paratarsotomus macropalpis, yet little is known about how its physiology and feeding behavior are able to support such tremendous speeds. In this project, we used stop-flow respirometry to study the mite’s metabolism at temperatures from 20.5 - 56.4°C and examined the temperature scaling of the Q10. We also collected high frame-rate video footage of feeding behavior in the field and identified prey species. Estimates of metabolic and dietary water gain and transpiratory water loss were used to compile long-term water budgets. Ten arthropod species were identified as potential prey species, and we observed mites feeding on moribund or dead specimens of 4 of these species. Due to its high operative temperatures, P. macropalpis probably specializes on dead or heat-succumbed prey. Calculations showed that preformed water from prey is more important than metabolic water for offsetting evaporative water loss. Animals had lower metabolic rates (measured as VCO2) than predicted from standard allometric scaling models based on body mass and cost of transport. P. macropalpis’ Q10 value of 1.86 was lower than the reported Q10 values for temperate and cold-adapted mites. The lower than predicted metabolic rate may represent an adaptation to the species’ extremely high operative temperatures and/or bottom-up (prey-limited) constraints on energy gain.

Keywords: Paratarsotomus relative speed, thermophile, feeding, metabolism, Q10, water budget