“Silver-spoon” males peak early but age fast


Photo: R. Bonduriansky. Two neriid males in a fight.

Foteini Spagopoulou has traveled to Sydney, Australia to study how differences in early-life resource acquisition affect age-specific life-histories in male neriid flies in Bonduriansky lab at UNSW. Together with Amy Hooper and Zachariah Wylde, she showed that males developing on good diet develop faster, have early peak in reproductive performance but aged faster and lived shorter than their counterparts developing on poor diet. High-condition males had larger bodies and won more fights than low-condition males.

Because natural selection optimizes fitness rather than longevity,good conditions in early life of a male may result in faster ageing and be detrimental to lifespan.