FIRST ANALYSIS OF THE UNIQUE BREATHING PATTERNS IN THE PRAYING MANTIS (INSECTA: MANTODEA)
Veronica Skital1, Salim Patel1, Christina Carrion1, Gregory Prete1, Emily Fioramonti1, Bart van Alphen2, Aaron Schirmer1, Frederick Prete1.
1Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL, 2Northwestern Illinois University, Evanston, IL.
Unlike vertebrates, insects do not breathe continuously. They breathe in bouts separated by variable intervals. This results in respiratory patterns ranging from phasic to continuous. Transitions between patterns vary within individuals, between species, and in response to physiological conditions. We believe that respiratory pattern switching results from the imposition or withdrawal of cephalic pattern generator control over a phasic, lower-level (abdominal) pattern generator that controls respiratory musculature. We used a custom MatLab video analysis program to analyze respiratory abdominal movements across 4 species of mantis over periods from 24 - 72 consecutive hours. Overall, respiration was similar across species. We also compared breathing in immobilized (restrained) and unrestrained Hierodula patellifera to assess the influence of activity on respiration. Restrained H. patellifera breathed in bouts lasting 109.84 (± 62.53 sd) sec separated by 49.39 (± 33.09 sd) sec intervals. Bouts had 3 phases: phase 1 consisted of 5.68 (± 2.6 sd) shallow, irregularly spaced breaths; phase 2 included 10.66 (± 5.60 sd) rapid, deeper breaths and lasted 33.97 (± 20.22 sd) sec; and phase 3 lasted 37.64 (± 27.41 sd) sec and included only 3 to 5 very deep breaths. In quiescent, unrestrained animals, overall bout length was 200.56 (± 92.26 sd) sec without a discernible phase 1, but was otherwise similar to restrained mantises. Preliminary data suggest continuous breathing is associated with increased activity. We have shown that mantis activity has a circadian rhythm; hence, so may respiratory pattern switching. These results are an initial step in understanding the control of respiration in mantises, and the evolution of respiratory control mechanisms.