1. Recent observations of actuarial senescence – an increase in mortality rate with age – have challenged the assertion that the brevity of adult insect life spans precludes ageing. 2. Here the rate of senescence in 22 species of Lepidoptera was quantified by fitting demographic models to adult survivorship data drawn from a range of field and laboratory studies. 3. Senescence was evident in all 22 species investigated, with a model of age-related mortality consistently fitting the survivorship curves significantly better than an alternative model which assumes constant mortality. 4. The rates of senescence varied significantly among species. The rates of senescence also differed significantly between sexes for all species tested, but not in a consistent way.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Ageing, Gompertz, life span, longevity, maximum likelihood, survivorship, Weibull
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/een.12417
Journal Ecological Entomology
Carroll, J. (Justin), & Sherratt, T. (2017). Actuarial senescence in laboratory and field populations of Lepidoptera. Ecological Entomology, 42(5), 675–679. doi:10.1111/een.12417