Gypsy Moth Caterpillars Regulate Their Body Temperature


Gypsy moth caterpillars have an effective system of temperature regulation that takes place not inside the caterpillars’ bodies, but on the surface. They use setae (bristles) to hang onto plant branches and leaves. These bristles also protect them from wind that would affect their temperature. As the plants move, the caterpillars readjust their body position so that the sunlight will hit them at the right angle for maintaining their temperature. As such, even when the air temperature changes, the caterpillars’ body temperature remains steady.

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Cold resistanceTemperature control

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The example of gypsy moth caterpillars can be used to design building exteriors with simple structures that regulate temperature. It can also be used to develop new synthetic fibers that regulate temperature, eliminating the need for people to wear layers.

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