Morphological, physiological and behavioural variation with body size (i.e. scaling) may affect costs of living in a particular environment for insects and, ultimately, pollination or foraging success. However, few studies have directly assessed the scaling of these traits at the species level. Using two similar-sized pollinator species (the hawkmoth Macroglossum trochilus and the fly Moegistorhynchus longirostrus), we compare intraspecific scaling relationships of resting metabolic rate (RMR), foraging rate (FR) and wing loading (WL) to address this paucity of data. Scaling of RMR was similar for both taxa although the intercepts for the relationships differed. However, these two species showed variation in WL scaling relationships and fundamentally different FR scaling. For M. longirostrus, FR scaling was positive but non-significantly related to body mass while for M. trochilus FR scaling was negative. This suggests that variation in FR and WL, but not RMR scaling, among these flies and hawkmoths may impose significant energetic costs which could affect animal–plant interactions in the wild.
Allometry Fynbos Respirometry
Ethan Newman and Steven Chown provided valuable support during the project. We are grateful for the comments of several anonymous referees which helped improve this manuscript. Funding was provided by a South African National Research Foundation grant BS2008090800006 to JST.
Anderson B, Alexandersson R, Johnson SD (2010) Evolution and coexistence of pollination ecotypes in an African Gladiolus (Iridaceae). Evolution 64:960–972CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Bartholomew GA, Casey TM (1978) Oxygen consumption of moths during rest, pre-flight warm-up, and flight in relation to body size and wing morphology. J Exp Biol 76:11–25Google Scholar