Water loss and metabolic activity in bed bug eggs (Cimex lectularius)

Brittany E. Campbell, Dini M. Miller, Zachary C. Devries, Arthur G. Appel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Few studies have evaluated water loss and respiratory activity of insect eggs, particularly insects that are known to live within indoor environments. The present study quantifies water loss and respiratory activity for the eggs of a re-emerging indoor pest of human environments Cimex lectularius (L.). Water loss is measured gravimetrically and calculated as a function of chorion permeability. For these studies, bed bug eggs are placed at 0% relative humidity and repeatedly weighed over 48 h. Temperature effects and bed bug strain differences on the standard metabolic rate (SMR) and respiratory quotient are measured using closed system respirometry. The SMR (Vo2; mL g−1 h−1) is measured for two field strain bed bugs and compared with a laboratory strain held at one temperature (25 °C). The standard metabolic rate is measured for Harlan (laboratory) strain bed bug eggs at six different temperatures (15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 39 °C). Total water loss is not significantly different between all three strains. However, water loss across the chorion (chorion permeability) is significantly different between the Harlan laboratory strain and the two field collected strains. Standard metabolic rates for Harlan (laboratory) strain bed bug eggs increase with temperatures from 15 to 35 °C but decline at 39 °C. Overall, the Harlan bed bug eggs have the largest standard metabolic rates (0.18 ± 0.05 mL g−1 h−1) compared with the Epic Center strain eggs (0.14 ± 0.03 mL g−1 h−1) and Richmond strain eggs (0.16 ± 0.04 mL g−1 h−1), although this difference is not significant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-361
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiological Entomology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Royal Entomological Society


  • Chorion permeability
  • common bed bug
  • egg
  • oxygen consumption
  • respiration
  • respirometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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