Temperature and mass dependency of insect metabolic rates are well known, while less attention has been given to other factors, such as age. Among insect species that experience seasonal variation in environmental conditions, such as in temperate latitudes, age may also have indirect effects on the metabolic rate. We examined the effect of age on the resting metabolic rate of Leptinotarsa decemlineata during 11 days after adult emergence by using flow-through respirometry. Age had a significant mass-independent effect on metabolic rate of beetles. A twofold increase in metabolic rate occurred during the first 2 days of adult life after which metabolic rate decreased with age relatively slowly. Ten day-old adult beetles had a metabolic rate similar to newly emerged beetles. The beetles have to be able to complete their development and prepare for overwintering during the relatively short favourable summer periods. Therefore, the observed pattern in metabolic rate may reflect physiological changes in the pre-diapause beetles adapted to temperate latitudes.
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