The time spent as a dauer larva does not affect adult life span in Caenorhabditis elegans, as if aging is suspended in this quiescent developmental stage. We now report that modest doses X-irradiation of dauer larvae increased their post-dauer longevity. Post-irradiation incubation of young dauer larvae did not modify this beneficial effect of radiation. Conversely, holding dauer larvae prior to irradiation rendered them refractory to this X-radiation-induced response. We present a model to explain these results. These experiments demonstrate that dauer larvae provide an excellent opportunity to study mechanisms by which X irradiation can extend life span.