Seasonal changes in the FA composition of triacylglycerols and phospholipids prepared from the whole body of non-diapausing and diapausing fifth instar larvae of Ostrinia nubilalis, Hubn. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) were determined to evaluate the role of these lipids in diapause. Substantial changes in the FA composition of triacylglycerols and phospholipids were triggered by diapause development. This led to a significant increase in the overall FA unsaturation (UFAs/SFAs ratio), attributable to an increase in the relative proportion of MUFAs and the concomitant decrease in PUFAs and SFAs. In triacylglycerols, the significant changes in FAs composition is the result of an increase in the relative proportions of MUFAs, palmitoleic acid (16:1n-7) and oleic acid (18:1n-9), and a concomitant reduction in composition of SFAs and PUFAs, mainly palmitic acid (16:0) and linoleic acid (18:2n-6), respectively. Changes in the composition of phospholipids were more subtle with FAs contributing to the overall increase of FA unsaturation. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis revealed that the melt transition temperatures of total lipids prepared from whole larvae, primarily attributable to the triacylglycerol component, were significantly lower during the time course of diapause compared with non-diapause. These observations were correlated to the FA composition of triacylglycerols, most likely enabling them to remain functional during colder winter conditions. We conclude that O. nubilalis undergoes remodelling of FA profiles of both energy storage triacylglycerols and membrane phospholipids as an element of its overwintering physiology which may improve the ability to cold harden during diapause.