The thermopreference of resting P. megistus (Burmeister, 1834) adults was studied in a temperature gradient. We also determined the thermopreference for oviposition and ecdysis. Thermopreference of resting individuals depended on the feeding state of the insects. Results demonstrated an initial resting preference of ≈29°C, which gradually changed to 26–27°C with increasing starvation. A daily variation in thermopreference was also observed with this species. The insects showed a daily maximum preference at the beginning of the dark phase, and a minimum preference during the first half of the light phase. Ecdysis took place all along the gradient, but exhibited a maximum frequency at 30°C. Most eggs were found between 25 and 29°C. Results are discussed in relation to the ecology of P. megistus as compared with other related species, and the existence of mechanisms of behavioral thermoregulation in the group.
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Vol. 39 • No. 5