The effect of heat waves on insect reproduction

About the episode

Heat waves are generally not beneficial to many biological processes and organisms. Because it is expected to become more common than it is now, a lot of research has been done on its impact.

For example, scientists recently turned to the maroon rice flour beetle for help. Specifically, they were curious about the impact of heat waves on this animal’s reproduction.

They gave the male’s sperm cells a fluorescent label so they could see what happened to them. For example, they saw that sperm cells of males exposed to artificial heat waves for 5 days produced fewer offspring.

The females of this insect store sperm cells in different places in the body. Fewer sperm from these males reached these storage sites.

It is knowledge that can help understand how climate affects population decline. In this case, the maroon rice flour beetle.

Read more about the research here: Experimental heat waves reduce the effectiveness of ejaculate in occupying the female reproductive tract in a model insect

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Megan Vasquez

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