DOI: /10.5513/JCEA01/17.3.1763

Preliminary communication

Is there a relationship between insect metabolic rate and mortality of mealworms Tenebrio molitor L. after insecticide exposure?

2016, 17 (3)   p. 685-694



Pesticides are known to affect insects metabolic rate and CO2 release patterns. In the presented paper metabolic rate and mortality of mealworms Tenebrio molitor L. exposed to four different insecticides was evaluated, to find out whether there is a relationship between mealworms sensitivity to pesticides and their metabolic rate. Tenebrio molitor mortality was determined after intoxication with pyrethroid, oxadiazine, neonicotinoid and organophosphate. Metabolic rate before and after intoxication with insecticides was also determined. The highest CO2 production and mortality rate was observed after mealworms exposition to neonicotinoid insecticide. The results suggest that high CO2 release after intoxication is adequate to the intensity of the non-specific action of the xenobiotic (e.g. hyperactivity of neuromuscular system), rather than the intensity of detoxification processes, and it is correlated with mealworms mortality.


insecticides, metabolic rate, mortality, tenebrio molitor l.


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