Diapause in insects is akin to dauer in Caenorhabditis elegans and hibernation in vertebrates. Diapause causes a profound extension of lifespan by low metabolic activity. However, the detailed regulatory mechanisms for low metabolic activity remain unknown. Here, we showed that low pyruvate levels are present in the brains of diapause-destined pupae of the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera, and three enzymes pyruvate kinase (PK), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), and phosphoglycerate mutase (PGAM) are closely correlated with pyruvate homeostasis. Notably, Sirt2 can deacetylate the three enzymes to increase their activity in vitro. Thus, low Sirt2 expression in the brains of diapause individuals decreases PK and PEPCK protein levels as well as PGAM activity, resulting in low pyruvate levels and low tricarboxylic acid cycle activity and eventually inducing diapause initiation by low metabolic activity. These findings suggest that pyruvate is a checkpoint for development or lifespan extension, and Sirt2 is a negative regulator to extend lifespan in insects.