Organophosphates are popular insecticides, but relatively little is known about their chronic effects on ecologically relevant endpoints. In this paper, we examine a life-cycle experiment with the springtail Folsomia candida, exposed via food to chlorpyrifos (CPF). The results for all endpoints (survival, growth and reproduction) were analyzed using the DEBtox model. Growth was unaffected by CPF, even at concentrations causing severe effects on survival and reproduction. Model analysis suggests that CPF directly affects the process of egg production. For the short-term response (45 days), this single mode of action accurately agreed with the data. However, the full data set (120 days) revealed a dose-related decrease in reproduction at low concentrations after prolonged exposure, not covered by the same mechanism. It appears that CPF interacts with senescence by increasing oxidative damage. This assumption fits the data well, but has little consequences for the predicted response at the population level. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.