The cost of living slowly: Metabolism, Q10 and repeatability in a South American harvestman

Marco A. Lardies, Daniel E. Naya, Patricia Berrios, Francisco Bozinovic

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18 Scopus citations


Resources are usually considered to be limited in caves and underground habitats. Therefore, lower metabolic rates of ectotherms in these environments should be advantageous. The standard metabolic rate (SMR) of the common harvestman Pachylus paessleri Roewer, 1913 (Arachnida, Opiliones) is determined at two ambient temperatures. Repeatability of SMR is estimated by two methods: (i) product-moment correlation on residuals of body mass and (ii) variance components. Estimations of the thermal sensitivity of metabolic rate (individual Q10). SMR of P. paessleri at 20°C show a mean of 19.01 ± 6.04 and 14.99 ± 3.64 μL CO2 h-1 for males and females, respectively. Thermal sensitivity of SMR is 2.11 ± 0.23 with a substantial coefficient of variation of 26.7%. In males, residuals of CO 2 release are significantly repeatable (rp = 0.61) between measurements realized 5 months apart, which reflects the consistency of this trait over time. As typical soil inhabitants, the harvestman P. paessleri present a lower metabolic rate in comparison with arthropods of similar body mass (e.g. arachnids). Although the coefficient of thermal sensitivity is within of the range reported for arthropods inhabiting Mediterranean zones, it is lower than expected for an organism with such a low SMR. This appears to be the first report of repeatability of metabolic rate in a harvestman species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-199
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiological Entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Cost of living
  • Metabolism
  • Opiliones
  • Q
  • Repeatability
  • Respirometry


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