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I'm getting an awful lot of beetles right now. I wonder if keeping the pupae cool ( 40 to 50 degrees) will slow down the change- or will it kill them?
Hi lincdales, - I would not go much lower than 40F for prolonged time to avoid adults emerging with wing defects & also void inducing pupae dessication, which will negatively impact rate of pupae survival. (2000) Graham, Walker & Davies' research "Developmental and environmental regulation of antifreeze proteins in the mealworm beetle Tenebrio molitor", originally published in FEBS Journal; free full text = http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1432-1327.2000.01734.x/full
The T.molitor "anti-feeze" builds as larvae age, but pupae do not make any "anti-freeze" themselves when suddenly subjected to cold. Consider pre-treating the late stage larvae with progressively moderate reduced temperatures, because then those larvae will make more of their "anti-freeze", which will lead to pupae starting out with higher amounts of that. "Pupae are somewhat chill tolerant, and as larvae tend to pupate in the spring, THPs (("anti-freeze")) may provide protection against late frosts...."
The pupae will rely on what they get from being matured larvae; "... upon pupation, message levels decreased in excess of 23-fold, while protein levels decreased less than twofold ... persistence of moderate levels ... in pupae ... retained as protection against low temperature ...." See cited research Fig 2 middle of chart entry for included pupae data; notice there are some gender based differences & time phase changes.Pupae "anti-freeze" levels in contrast to "... adult protein levels decreased up to sevenfold, relative to levels in final instar larvae."