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Depressed Supercooling Point and Increased Glycerol Concentration in Overwintering Adult Tiger Beetles (Cicindelida)

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BACKGROUND: Tiger beetles are a widely distributed group including species that may be exposed to sub-freezing temperature overwinter. Despite being well studied, little is known about tiger beetle cold tolerance. OBJECTIVE: We investigated seasonal changes in cold hardiness of two northerly distributed tiger beetle species (Cicindela repanda and Cicindela limbalis). MATERIALS AND METHODS: We monitored the supercooling point (SCP), glycerol concentration, and hemolymph osmolality of adult tiger beetles during a 3.5-month acclimation to winter. RESULTS: SCP decreased during winter acclimation for C. repanda, but not for C. limbalis. Both species modestly increased glycerol concentration, and C. repanda increased hemolymph osmolality by 38%. CONCLUSION: This initial investigation into the cold-hardiness of adult tiger beetles suggests that they are capable of lowering their SCP as winter approaches, which may help them survive sub-freezing winter temperatures. Further assessment of their chill and freeze tolerance and of their overwintering conditions in the field is needed to better understand their winter physiology.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2020

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  • CryoLetters is a bimonthly international journal for low temperature sciences, including cryobiology, cryopreservation or vitrification of cells and tissues, chemical and physical aspects of freezing and drying, and studies involving ecology of cold environments, and cold adaptation

    The journal publishes original research reports, authoritative reviews, technical developments and commissioned book reviews of studies of the effects produced by low temperatures on a wide variety of scientific and technical processes, or those involving low temperature techniques in the investigation of physical, chemical, biological and ecological problems.

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