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Effects of larval starvation and adult diet-derived amino acids on reproduction in a fruit-feeding butterfly


Bauerfeind, Stephanie S; Fischer, Klaus (2009). Effects of larval starvation and adult diet-derived amino acids on reproduction in a fruit-feeding butterfly. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 130(3):229-237.

Abstract

Availability of adequate nutrition is among the most important factors affecting growth, development, and reproduction in animals. In holometabolous insects, diets and nutritional needs change between life stages, with larval storage, and adult feeding and reproduction being linked to one another. In several butterfly species, adult feeding is of fundamental importance to realize the full reproductive potential, primarily due to a prominent role of adult diet-derived carbohydrates. In contrast, the role of adult diet-derived amino acids is still under debate, despite the fact that butterflies were often found to preferentially feed on amino acid-rich substrates. Recently it was found that amino acids from adult income could compensate for adverse effects of larval food quality. In our study on the tropical butterfly Bicyclus anynana Butler) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), we used larval starvation to investigate corresponding effects on female reproductive output. Short periods of larval starvation prolonged development time and reduced larval survival, larval growth rate, pupal mass, and egg size. Regardless of the degree of larval starvation, access to amino acids in the adult diet increased egg size, whereas egg number remained largely unaffected. Thus, although there was some evidence for adult diet-derived amino acids being overall beneficial to reproduction, there was no indication that they can compensate for larval starvation.

Abstract

Availability of adequate nutrition is among the most important factors affecting growth, development, and reproduction in animals. In holometabolous insects, diets and nutritional needs change between life stages, with larval storage, and adult feeding and reproduction being linked to one another. In several butterfly species, adult feeding is of fundamental importance to realize the full reproductive potential, primarily due to a prominent role of adult diet-derived carbohydrates. In contrast, the role of adult diet-derived amino acids is still under debate, despite the fact that butterflies were often found to preferentially feed on amino acid-rich substrates. Recently it was found that amino acids from adult income could compensate for adverse effects of larval food quality. In our study on the tropical butterfly Bicyclus anynana Butler) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), we used larval starvation to investigate corresponding effects on female reproductive output. Short periods of larval starvation prolonged development time and reduced larval survival, larval growth rate, pupal mass, and egg size. Regardless of the degree of larval starvation, access to amino acids in the adult diet increased egg size, whereas egg number remained largely unaffected. Thus, although there was some evidence for adult diet-derived amino acids being overall beneficial to reproduction, there was no indication that they can compensate for larval starvation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:March 2009
Deposited On:16 Dec 2009 15:56
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 22:01
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0013-8703
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1570-7458.2008.00814.x

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