Endothermy in African Platypleurine Cicadas: the influence of body size and habitat (Hemiptera: Cicadidae)

Sanborn, A.F. and Villet, M.H. and Phillips, P.K. (2004) Endothermy in African Platypleurine Cicadas: the influence of body size and habitat (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 77 (5). pp. 816-823. ISSN 1522-2152



Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/422226


The platypleurine cicadas have a wide distribution across Africa and southern Asia. We investigate endothermy as a thermoregulatory strategy in 11 South African species from five genera, with comparisons to the lone ectothermic platypleurine we found, in an attempt to ascertain any influence that habitat and/or body size have on the expression of endothermy in the platypleurine cicadas. Field measurements of body temperature (Tb) show that these animals regulate Tb through endogenous heat production. Heat production in the laboratory elevated Tb to the same range as in animals active in the field. Maximum Tb measured during calling activity when there was no access to solar radiation ranged from 13.2° to 22.3°C above ambient temperature in the five species measured. The mean Tb during activity without access to solar radiation did not differ from the mean Tb during diurnal activity. All platypleurines exhibit a unique behavior for cicadas while warming endogenously, a temperature- dependent telescoping pulsation of the abdomen that probably functions in ventilation. Platypleurines generally call from trunks and branches within the canopy and appear to rely on endothermy even when the sun is available to elevate Tb, in contrast to the facultative endothermy exhibited by New World endothermic species. The two exceptions to this generalization we found within the platypleurines are Platypleura wahlbergi and Albanycada albigera, which were the smallest species studied. The small size of P. wahlbergi appears to have altered their thermoregulatory strategy to one of facultative endothermy, whereby they use the sun when it is available to facilitate increases in Tb. Albanycada albigera is the only ectothermic platypleurine we found. The habitat and host plant association of A. albigera appear to have influenced the choice of ectothermy as a thermoregulatory strategy, as the species possesses the metabolic machinery to elevate to the Tb range observed in the endothermic species. Therefore, size and habitat appear to influence the expression of thermoregulatory strategies in African platypleurine cicadas.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:body size; body temperature; diurnal activity; habitat related behavior; thermoregulation; adaptation; animals; comparative study; environment; Hemiptera; morphometrics; motor activity; oxygen consumption; physiology; sunlight; thermogenesis; physiological; body weights and measures; Animalia; Cicadidae; Platypleura; Vertebrata; South Africa; Africa
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:385
Deposited On:19 Sep 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:18
155 full-text download(s) since 19 Sep 2008
37 full-text download(s) in the past 12 months
More statistics...

Repository Staff Only: item control page