• cost of resting stage production;
  • density dependence;
  • evolutionarily stable strategies;
  • freshwater invertebrates;
  • hatching rate;
  • life history strategies;
  • long-term dormancy;
  • stochastic environments;
  • temporary habitats;
  • timing of reproduction

Many organisms survive unfavourable seasons as resting stages, some of which hatch each favourable season. Hatching fraction and timing of resting stage production are important life history variables. We model life cycles of freshwater invertebrates in temporary pools, with various combinations of uncertain season length and density-dependent fecundity. In deterministic density-independent conditions, resting stage production begins suddenly. With uncertain season length and density independence, resting stage production begins earlier and gradually. A high energetic cost of resting stages favours later resting stage production and a lower hatching fraction. Deterministic environments with density dependence allow sets of coexisting strategies, dominated by pairs, each switching suddenly to resting stage production on a different date, usually earlier than without density dependence. Uncertain season length and density dependence allow a single evolutionarily stable strategy, around which we observe many mixed strategies with negatively associated yield (resting stages per initial active stage) and optimal hatching fraction.