Entomological Society of America

Upcoming Talk by Courtney Grula

St. Louis, Missouri

The influence of body size on metabolic rate in Megachile rotundata
Monday, November 18th, 11:10am-11:20am
America’s Center – Room 267

Megachile rotundata is a commercially-reared, solitary, pollinator used in alfalfa seed production. Adult body size in these solitary bees is variable because it is determined by the quantity of food available to the developing larva. Smaller bees have been shown to be produced in the field under stressful conditions of scarce resources, and the mother can only provide small provisions to the developing offspring. Body size is related to many aspects of a bee’s life history including foraging distance and pollination efficiency. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of body size on metabolic rates, both at rest and during flight. CO2 output was used as an indirect measure of metabolic rate. Body size was manipulated under laboratory conditions by restricting the amount of food provided or providing excess food ad libidum during the fifth instar larval stage producing large, small, and control adult bees. Once adults emerged, resting and tethered flight metabolic rates were measured using flow-through respirometry in large, control, and small bees.

Join Courtney and her colleagues on November 18th at the Entomological Society of America (ESA) conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Click here for conference details.

© Photo by Meghan Duda


Courtney is a PhD student at North Dakota State University. The main focus of her research is to determine how body size impacts performance and fitness in solitary bees, using nutritional quantity as a mechanism for influencing body size. Body size affects many different aspects of animal life habits including fecundity, metabolism, longevity, and foraging distance. By utilizing the determinate growth characteristic of solitary bees, we are able to control adult body size, which allows us to experimentally test the impact of body size on performance. A secondary focus of her research is looking at lifespan and aging in solitary bees, particularly looking at telomere dynamics across development. Telomere length may be related to longevity and the rate of cellular aging in eukaryotic organisms. Results from her research may give insights into how telomeres function in solitary bees, and the process of cellular aging these organisms. Read more about Courtney HERE.

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