We examined the effect of nutritional status and desiccation rate on the ability of Panagrolaimus detritophagus to undergo anhydrobiosis, as well as to survive high temperatures in the dried state. Both nutrition and drying rate were found to be important, with starvation and slow drying providing better success at anhydrobiosis. The upper temperature for survival of dried animals in laboratory studies was 80°C. Starved worms recovered from drying more successfully when the starvation period was followed by a smooth, gradual dry period prior to undergoing desiccation. Thus, the ability of these worms to enter and leave anhydrobiosis is dependent on critical stress signals.