Effect of Desiccation on the Bed-bug (Cimex lectularlus)


IT is well known that, during starvation, the bed-bug, like many other insects, swallows considerable quantities of air, which serve to maintain the body volume in place of the food and tissues that are consumed. I have recently observed that if the first stage larvae of the bed-bug are kept for several weeks in a moderately dry atmosphere (for example, 50 per cent relative humidity at 23° C), as the circulating fluids become less, the gut, containing bubbles of air, becomes herniated into the bases of the limbs, and may extend far down the femora (Fig. 1).

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WIGGLESWORTH, V. Effect of Desiccation on the Bed-bug (Cimex lectularlus). Nature 127, 307–308 (1931). https://doi.org/10.1038/127307b0

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