Why do insects shut their spiracles? A meta-analytic evaluation of the adaptive hypotheses of discontinuous gas exchange in insects

Seun Oladipupo
The earliest description of the discontinuous gas exchange cycle (DGC) in lepidopterous insects supported the role played by the spiracles and tracheal system in modulating the release of carbon dioxide. Further understanding led to the idea that the adaptive significance of regulated opening and closure of the spiracles is to reduce water loss (hygric hypothesis) and facilitate gaseous exchange in hyperoxia/hypoxia (chthonic hypothesis). With technological advances, other insect orders were investigated and the hygric and...
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