Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Life Sciences

First Committee Member

Allen G. Gibbs

Number of Pages



During metamorphosis, Drosophila melanogaster pupae undergo a transformation which rearranges almost all larval tissues into an adult fly. During this time, it is surprising that pupae exhibit a U-shaped curve for metabolic rate, where metabolism decreases dramatically after pupariation and increases shortly before eclosion. Using temperature to offset the cost of development during metamorphosis, I demonstrate that the total energy cost for metamorphosis depends on temperature and associated differences in developmental time. Pupae tended to consume more triglycerides over the course of development at low and high temperatures. Changes in oxygen level did not affect the U-shaped curve of carbon dioxide production during metamorphosis. Also, pupae did not accumulate lactate under normoxic conditions, although they are capable of anaerobic metabolism. Thus, oxygen limitation is not the cause of the U-shaped metabolic pattern. I observed that citrate synthase activity changes in a similar U-shaped pattern as metabolic rate. This indicates that the U-shaped metabolic curve is the result of changes in metabolically active tissue during metamorphosis.


Energetics; Insect; Metamorphosis

Controlled Subject

Physiology; Cellular biology; Molecular biology

File Format


File Size

2498.56 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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