, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 163-172
Date: 30 Apr 2013

Predation selects for low resting metabolic rate and consistent individual differences in anti-predator behavior in a beetle

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Significant between-individual variation in resting metabolic rate (RMR) of animals is a widespread phenomenon that may have important implications for our understanding of variation in behavior and animal personality. By using wild caught mealworm beetles, Tenebrio molitor, we examined the relationships among survival rate under predator tests, individual response latency time to become immobile under the risk of predation, duration of immobility time, and RMR. Individuals with higher levels of RMR were bold, and bold individuals were found to be more exposed to the risk of bird predation. We found that RMR was positively correlated with the latency of immobility response and negatively correlated with the total duration of immobility. The correlation between behavioral responses suggests a behavioral syndrome in the anti-predator behavior of T. molitor. The results indicate that energy metabolism may be part of a syndrome that involves behavior and life history traits in animals.