Like would that even be possible in any way, could it happen and why or why not?

Would the environment also suffer because of the warm-blooded insect(s)?

  • $\begingroup$ Can you define "insect?" It is, of course, a demarcation, drawn around a group of cold blooded species because they had similarities. You are defining them differently, so it'd help to see what you feel was important about "insect," and what was not. Obviously, there's no species in the world that you can just swap a major biological feature like warm/cold blood and have it work. Everything moves together. So understanding what you want to hold still would help. For example, I'm guessing you want an exoskeleton. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Aug 2, 2021 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ Do you also want decentralized breathing? The reason I ask is to do with size, sure there are some small mammals, but most war-blooded creatures are somewhat larger than the current limit for insects because it's more energy efficient in terms of heat conservation - insect size being somewhat limited by their breathing/circulation. $\endgroup$ Aug 2, 2021 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ Just so as you know, we recommend that people leave it 24-48 hours before awarding "the tick" as we've an international audience here and it leaves an incentive for other answers (maybe even better) to be added. $\endgroup$ Aug 2, 2021 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


Some insects already have some degree of 'warm blood' for example, flies need hot wings to fly, and the vibration of their wings generates heat much like shivering generates heat for humans, and allows them to fly. Bees during winter will cluster together and vibrate to generate warmth.

Being full body warm blood is much more costly. Warm blooded creatures tend to need ten times more food than cold blooded ones. But, warm blooded creatures are pound for pound much tougher than cold blooded creatures, can operate in the cold much better such as at night when cold blooded creatures shut off.

Insects have a much higher volume to mass ratio, so them becoming warm blooded would be much more costly. They would lose a huge amount of energy from their huge surface area. It's much easier to stay warm as a larger creature.

As such, it would be likely in two situations.

  1. Giant insects, whose mass was large enough to support being warm blooded.

  2. Clusters of insects, who worked together like bees to stay warm in cold environments or disease heavy environments where high heat was needed.

If they were routinely being warm blooded one large consequence would be that they'd burn as many calories as mammals did and would need ten times more food.

They'd also be able to hunt at night much better, resist diseases much better, and would starve much faster.

  • $\begingroup$ Good point, bumblebees do that, leave the engine running to warm-up their wing muscles too. $\endgroup$ Aug 2, 2021 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ "much higher volume to mass ratio" volume instead surface, or mass instead surface, both can be legit, atm it is volume to volume or mass to mass. "Being full body warm blood is much more costly" not so much if there is sufficient volume or fur - which does not work that well for insects, and yesit would be quite inefficient. Colibry maybe the smallest warmblooded ones, but they are very active ones as well $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Aug 2, 2021 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ Also worth noting bees use heat to kill hornets, since bee stings won’t penetrate hornet shell, but the bees can stand higher temperatures. They mob invasive hornets and cook them to death by vibrating to raise the temperature in the middle of the crowd. $\endgroup$
    – Joe Bloggs
    Aug 2, 2021 at 19:26

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