Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 June 2019
In animals, the early-life environment influences growth and development, which can have lasting effects on life history and fitness into adulthood. We investigated the patterns of growth, pupal development time, and their covariation in Protopiophila litigata Bonduriansky (Diptera: Piophilidae) larvae of both sexes collected from three discarded moose (Alces alces (Linnaeus) (Artiodactyla: Cervidae)) antlers of varying size, chewing damage (used to infer relative age), and P. litigata density. Males tended to be smaller and their pupation lasted longer than females. One of the antlers was highly attractive to adult P. litigata, whereas the other two attracted few or none. Individuals from one antler of low attractiveness were smaller and took longer to eclose than individuals from either other antler, perhaps due to its high larval density. The relationship between body size and pupal development time also differed among antlers, being positively correlated in the most attractive antler and negatively correlated in the two other antlers.
Subject editor: Leah Flaherty