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Lipid content of terrestrial arthropods in relation to body size, phylogeny, ontogeny and sex

Authors

  • HILARY M. LEASE,

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    1. Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.
      Dr Hilary M. Lease, Department of Biology, MSC03 2020, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, U.S.A. Tel.: +1 505 277 3411; e-mail: hlease@unm.edu
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  • BLAIR O. WOLF

    1. Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.
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Dr Hilary M. Lease, Department of Biology, MSC03 2020, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, U.S.A. Tel.: +1 505 277 3411; e-mail: hlease@unm.edu

Abstract

Energy storage in arthropods has important implications for survival and reproduction. The lipid content of 276 species of adult arthropods with wet mass in the range 0.2–6.13 g is determined to assess how lipid mass scales with body mass. The relative contribution of lipids to total body mass is investigated with respect to phylogeny, ontogeny and sex. The lipid content of adult insects, arachnids, and arthropods in general shows an isometric scaling relationship with respect to body mass (M) (Marthropod lipid = −1.09 ×Mdry1.01 and Marthropod lipid = −1.00 ×Mlean0.98). However, lipid allocation varies between arthropod taxa, as well as with sex and developmental stage within arthropod taxa. Female insects and arachnids generally have higher lipid contents than males, and larval holometabolous insects and juvenile arachnids have higher lipid contents than adults.

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