The Science of Nature

, 104:58 | Cite as

Diet-dependent heat emission reveals costs of post-diapause recovery from different nutritional sources in a carnivorous beetle

  • Søren Toft
  • Søren Achim Nielsen
Original Paper


Restoration of fat stores is metabolic first priority for many insects that emerge from hibernation with depleted fat bodies. To some extent, the animals must be flexible and use whatever foods available irrespective of their nutrient composition. Previously, the carabid beetles Anchomenus dorsalis have been found to refill their fat stores to the same extent over 9 days irrespective of the nutrient composition of their food. However, a higher cost of fat deposition when the food was rich in sugar or protein rather than lipid was indicated by higher total energy consumption. Here, we test the hypothesis of increased metabolic costs of building fat stores from sugar- or protein-rich food than from lipid-rich food by microcalorimetry. We measured the heat emitted from beetles that had fed on sugar-, protein-, or lipid-rich food for 0 (common control), 2, 5, or 10 days. As predicted, heat emission was increased in beetles getting sugar- and protein-rich food compared with those getting lipid-rich food. However, we did not confirm the beetles’ ability to rebuild fat stores from protein-rich food; instead, they increased in lean mass. Overall, sugar-rich food seems to be optimal for post-winter recovery, because it is better than lipid-rich food that allows concurrent rebuilding of fat stores and lean mass, which may benefit preparation for spring migration and reproduction. We propose that overwintered fruits may be highly preferred post-diapause food for these otherwise mostly carnivorous beetles.


Carabidae Coleoptera Ground beetle Heat flow Hibernation Metabolic costs Nutrition 



We are indebted to Henning Bjerregaard for valuable discussions on the biochemical interpretation of our results and to two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments.

Compliance with ethical standards


ST was supported by a grant from the Carlsberg Foundation.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

114_2017_1481_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
Fig. S1 (DOCX 17 kb)


  1. Adedokun TA, Denlinger DL (1985) Metabolic reserves associated with pupal diapause in the flesh fly, Sarcophaga crassipalpis. J Insect Physiol 31:229–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arrese EL, Soulages JL (2010) Insect fat body: energy, metabolism, and regulation. Annu Rev Entomol 55:207–225CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Baranovska E, Knapp M, Saska P (2014) The effects of overwintering, sex, year, field identity and vegetation at the boundary of fields on the body condition of Anchomenus dorsalis (Coleptera: Carabidae). Eur J Entomol 111:608–614Google Scholar
  4. Bradley MC, Perrin N, Calow P (1991) Energy allocation in the cladoceran Daphnia magna Straus, under starvation and refeeding. Oecologia 86:414–418CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Canavoso LE, Jouni ZE, Karnas KJ, Pennington JE, Wells MA (2001) Fat metabolism in insects. Annu Rev Nutr 21:23–46CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Coombes DS, Sotherton NW (1986) The dispersal and distribution of polyphagous predatory Coleoptera in cereals. Ann Appl Biol 108:461–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Denlinger DL, Yocum GD, Rinehart JL (2005) Hormonal control of diapause. In: Gilbert LI, Iatrou K, Gill SS (eds) Comprehensive molecular insect science, vol 3. Elsevier Press, Amsterdam, pp 615–650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Downer RGH (1978) Functional role of lipids in insects. In: Rockstein M (ed) Biochemistry of insects. Academic Press, New York, pp 57–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eckert R (1983) Animal physiology. Mechanisms and adaptations, 2nd edn. WH Freeman & Co., San Francisco.Google Scholar
  10. Hahn DA, Denlinger DL (2007) Meeting the energetic demands of insect diapause: nutrient storage and utilization. J Insect Physiol 53:760–773CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Hahn DA, Denlinger DL (2011) Energetics of insect diapause. Annu Rev Entomol 56:103–121CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Jensen K, Mayntz D, Toft S, Clissold F, Raubenheimer D, Simpson SJ (2012) Optimal foraging for specific nutrients in predatory beetles. Proc Royal Soc B 279:2212–2218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jensen TS, Dyring L, Kristensen B, Nielsen BO, Rasmussen ER (1989) Spring dispersal and summer habitat distribution of Agonum dorsale (Coleoptera, Carabidae). Pedobiologia 33:155–165Google Scholar
  14. Keeley LL (1985) Physiology and biochemistry of the fat body. In: Kerkut GA, Gilbert LI (eds) Comprehensive insect physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology, Integument, vol III. Respiration and Circulation. Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp 211–248Google Scholar
  15. Knapp M, Uhnavá K (2014) Body size and nutrition intake effects on fecundity and overwintering success in Anchomenus dorsalis (Coleoptera: Carabidae). J Insect Sci 14(240)Google Scholar
  16. Kostal V (2006) Eco-physiological phases of insect diapause. J Insect Physiol 52:113–127CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Lamprecht I (1998) Monitoring metabolic activities of small animals by means of microcalorimetry. Pure Appl Chem 70:695–700CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Leather SR, Walters KFA, Bale JS (1993) The ecology of insect overwintering. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lyndon AR, Houlihan DF, Hall SJ (1992) The effect of short-term fasting and a single meal on protein synthesis and oxygen consumption in cods, Gadus morhua. J Comp Physiol B 162:209–215CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. McCauley E, Murdoch WW, Nisbet RM, Gurney WSC (1990) The physiological ecology of Daphnia: development of a model of growth and reproduction. Ecology 71:703–715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nielsen SA, Jensen KMV, Kristensen M, Westh P (2006) Energetic cost of subacute chlorpyrifos intoxication in the German cockroach (Dictyoptera: Blatellidae). Envir Entomol 35:837–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Noreika N, Madsen NEL, Jensen K, Toft S (2016) Balancing of lipid, protein, and carbohydrate intake in a predatory beetle following hibernation, and consequences for lipid restoration. J Insect Physiol 88:1–9CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Perrin N, Bradley MC, Calow P (1990) Plasticity of storage allocation in Daphnia magna. Oikos 59:70–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pollard E, Hooper MD, Moore NW (1974) Hedges. Collins, LondonGoogle Scholar
  25. Raubenheimer D, Mayntz D, Simpson SJ, Toft S (2007) Nutrient-specific compensation following diapause in a predator: implications for intraguild predation. Ecology 88:2598–2608CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Reeds PJ, Wahle KWJ, Haggarty P (1982) Energy costs of protein and fatty acid synthesis. Proc Nutr Soc 41:155–159CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Secor SM (2009) Specific dynamic action: a review of the postprandial metabolic response. J Comp Physiol B 179:1–56CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Tan QQ, Feng L, Liu W, Zhu L, Lei CL, Wang XP (2016) Differences in the pre-diapause and pre-oviposition accumulation of critical nutrients in adult females of the beetle Colaphellus bowringi. Entomol Exp Appl 160:115–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Thomas CFG, Holland JM, Brown NJ (2002) Spatial distribution of carabid beetles in agricultural landscapes. In: Holland JM (ed) The agroecology of carabid beetles. Intercept, Andover, pp 305–344Google Scholar
  30. Toft S, Bilde T (2002) Carabid diets and food value. In: Holland JM (ed) The agroecology of carabid beetles intercept, Andover, pp 81–110Google Scholar
  31. Wadsö L, Hansen LD (2015) Calorespirometry of terrestrial organisms and ecosystems. Methods 76:11–19CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversityÅrhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Science and EnvironmentRoskilde UniversityRoskildeDenmark

Personalised recommendations