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Early body condition may be important for adult behavior and fitness, and is impacted by a number of environmental conditions and biotic interactions. Reduced fecundity of adult females exposed to larval competition may be caused by reduced body condition or shifts in relative body composition, yet these mechanisms have not been well researched. Here, body mass, body size, scaled body mass index, and two body components (water content and lean dry mass) of adult Callosobruchus maculatus (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) females exposed to larval competition or reared alone were examined. Experimental females emerged at significantly smaller body mass and body size than control females. Additionally, scaled body mass index and water content, but not lean dry mass, were significantly reduced in experimental females. To our knowledge, these are the first results that demonstrate a potential mechanism for previously documented direct effects of competition on fecundity in female bruchine beetles.
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