Living With Nitrogen

Helichus striatus
Photo: Jeff Gruber & Nicolas Gompel

It is possible to create a plastron of pure oxygen by placing beetles without plastrons into an atmosphere of pure oxygen. When beetles with oxygen plastron submerge, the plastron shrinks over the first several days, then stabilizes. A plastron created with air does not. Why?

The air of the plastron is in equilibrium with gasses dissolved in water. In a natural air plastron, the insect uses oxygen from the plastron for respiration…

Source: Living With Insects Blog

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