Plasticity in growth rate may be driven by behavioural and physiological mechanisms. Although these underlying mechanisms have direct implications for the importance of ecological and physiological costs associated with rapid growth, the contribution of behaviour and physiology to temperature-mediated plasticity in growth rate has largely been neglected. We studied the temperature-dependence of growth rate and its underlying behavioural and physiological mechanisms in two congeneric damselfly species that differ in latitudinal distribution. Larvae were reared from the egg stage at three temperatures (17 degrees C, 22 degrees C and 27 degrees C). Within each species, growth rates showed a quadratic response curve with an optimum at 22 degrees C. Behaviour, as measured by food intake, and physiology, as measured by growth efficiency and heartbeat as proxy for metabolic rate, jointly contributed to this temperature-induced plasticity in growth rate. At each temperature, growth rates were higher in the northern species. In line with the few other studies that compared northern and southern populations, both an increased food uptake and growth efficiency caused this pattern. Together with previous studies that focused on the population level, our results tentatively suggest that not only the latitudinal patterns in growth rate but also the mechanistic basis are similar at the species and at the population level.