Effects of temperature on nutrient self-selection in the silverfish lepisma saccharina

Zachary C. Devries, Arthur G. Appel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Nutrient self-selection represents an important behaviour that has been measured across many taxa. Despite the amount of research on this phenomenon, few studies report the evaluation of the effects of environmental variables such as temperature on nutrient selection by animals. In the present study, the nutrient selections of the silverfish Lepisma saccharina L. are measured across a range of temperatures (10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35°C) using feeding arenas with three nutrient choices: carbohydrate (sucrose), protein (casein) and fat (lard). An overall preference for carbohydrates is shown across the range of temperatures, followed by protein, and then fat. However, the proportional consumption of each dietary component changes with temperature; the proportional carbohydrate consumption decreases dramatically with increasing temperature (>94% of the diet at 15°C but<58% at 30°C), whereas the proportional protein and lipid consumption increases with increasing temperature up to 30°C. Changes in nutrient selection with temperature may be related to the dietary requirements of the insect at different temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiological Entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Dietary self-selection
  • Lepismatidae
  • Metabolism
  • Nutrition
  • Silverfish
  • Thysanura

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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