ABSTRACT: Potential cold resistance of non-diapause eggs and first instar larvae of Osmoderma eremita (Coleoptera, Cetoniidae, Trichiinae) during embryogenesis and post-embryonic growth was assessed by measuring individual supercooling points (SCP): sterile eggs had a mean SCP of -24.3 +/- 2.0 degrees C; fertilized newly laid eggs a mean SCP of -23.4 +/- 3.2 degrees C and eggs about to hatch a mean SCP of -9.2 +/- 2.9 degrees C. Water absorption by fertilized eggs is a necessary requirement for the development of the embryo and results in an increase in weight and water content: fertilized newly laid eggs had a mean fresh weight of 10.687 +/- 1.072 mg and a mean water content (expressed as a percentage of the dry weight) of 79.5 +/- 10.83%; eggs about to hatch had a mean fresh weight of 19.127 +/- 3.183 mg and a mean water content of 250.10 +/- 74.15%. The ex-ovo larvae, hatched 30 days after oviposition, had a mean SCP of -10.1 +/- 3.6 degrees C (no significant difference with eggs about to hatch) and had gained in weight (24.845 +/- 3.911 mg) and in water content (499.72 +/- 55.49%). Feeding 1st instar larvae had a decreased supercooling ability (mean SCP = -5.7 +/- 0.4 degrees C) whereas their mean fresh weight (99.858 +/- 53.091 mg) and mean water content (665.83 +/- 82.74%) increased. The eggs and larvae of O. eremita are freezing intolerant. Before overwintering, all larvae switch to being freezing tolerant and can survive ice formation in their tissues and body fluids, whereas their mean SCP stays at around -5 degrees C. However, recent experiments in the winter of 1996 have shown that frozen larva mortality does occur at temperatures lower than about -12 degrees C.
Comptes Rendus de l Académie des Sciences - Series III - Sciences de la Vie 06/1997; 320(5):359-66.