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Egg size plasticity in bean beetles (Callosobruchus maculatus): Does host bean species matter?

In this exercise, students design a series of experiments (1) to test whether female bean beetles adjust the size of their eggs on different host bean species and (2) to determine whether differences in egg size based on host bean species are optimal. Most often, students design experiments in which different females are allowed to lay eggs on different bean species that vary in nutritional quality. After approximately 6 weeks, students measure egg size, female body size, and emergence success of offspring. Experimental design and initial setup require one laboratory period. Data collection requires 1-2 laboratory periods depending on the number of eggs measured. In class, students discuss approaches to data analysis and analyze their data. Outside of class, they write a scientific paper based on their results in the format of Ecology.
Associated files
Resource Group TIEE
Resource Group Link
Primary or BEN resource type
Secondary resource type
General Biology Core Concepts
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords Egg size, phenotypic plasticity, evolution, adaptations, life history
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description Each student prepares a written scientific paper in the style of Ecology based on
the pooled data from the entire class. If different laboratory groups develop and
implement different experimental designs, groups could present posters or oral
presentations to the rest of the class.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Christopher W. Beck
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlant
Primary Author email
Added By Id
  • educationintern
Rights Author maintains rights
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 2017-11-27
Date Of Record Release 2018-01-19 19:48:40
Last Modified By Id
  • educationintern
Date Last Modified 2018-07-30 11:41:50
Release Flag Published

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