Comparative analysis of larval growth in Lepidoptera reveals instar-level constraints

Sami Kivelä, Robert Davis, Toomas Esperk, Karl Gotthard, Marko Mutanen, Daniel Valdma & Toomas Tammaru
1. Juvenile growth trajectories evolve via the interplay of selective pressures on age and size at maturity, and developmental constraints. In insects, the moulting cycle is a major constraint on larval growth trajectories. 2. Surface area to volume ratio of a larva decreases during growth, so renewal of certain surfaces by moulting is likely needed for the maintenance of physiological efficiency. A null hypothesis of isometry, implied by Dyar’s Rule, would mean that the relative...
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