Cold is a relative term which for present purposes will be considered to encompass temperatures too low to support normal development of the inÂ sects concerned. The effects of cold on insects may be manifold, but a priÂ mary distinction must be made on the hasis of whether freezing does or does not result. The dividing line, however, is seldom at the freezing point of the tissues but rather at the supercooling point, for insects almost invariably supercool to some extent, usually many degrees. Cooling without freezing has been termed "chilling" (9), particularly when the emphasis is on temperatures above OÂ°C. Such investigations usually deal with i nsects that do not normally e ncounter cold, e.g., household pests. Unaccustomed to cold, they tolerate it poorly. On the other hand, insects that hibernate in temperate and colder climates must tolerate a wide range of low temperatures, often for long periods. Some species improve their tolerÂ ance through processes of cold-acclimation and cold-hardening. All insects supercool to some extent, regardless of need; in fact, some that need to do so least supercool below -40Â°C. Most hibernating insects do need to supercool, however, to avoid freezing, which would be fatal; the
Annual Review of Entomology – Annual Reviews
Published: Jan 1, 1961
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