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Zeitschrift für vergleichende Physiologie

, Volume 68, Issue 3, pp 334–344 | Cite as

Thoracic temperature, shivering, and flight in the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus (L.)

  • Ann E. Kammer
Article

Summary

Monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus (L.), display a warm-up behavior characterized by wingstrokes of small amplitude. Thoracic temperature during this shivering and during fixed flight was measured by means of a smallbead thermistor inserted into the thorax. At ambient temperatures of 15–16°C, once shivering is initiated the thoracic temperature rises at a maximum rate of 1.3°C/min, and a thoracic temperature 4.0°C greater then ambient is produced (Table 1). Fixed flight at these low ambient temperatures results in a similar rate of increase in thoracic temperature, and a similar temperature excess is produced (Fig. 3). At ambient temperatures between 22 and 35°C the thoracic temperature of an animal starting to fly rises at a faster rate, 3.6°C/min, and reaches a greater excess, 7.9°C (Fig. 4). The wingbeat frequency of animals in fixed flight increases with increasing thoracic temperature (Fig. 2). In the absence of direct solar radiation, shivering typically occurs prior to flight at low ambient temperatures (13–17°C), and the resulting increase in thoracic temperature allows monarch butterflies to fly at these cool temperatures.

Keywords

Radiation Ambient Temperature Solar Radiation Maximum Rate Fast Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann E. Kammer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavis

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