Progressive provisioning by the females of the earwig, Anisolabis maritima, increases the survival rate of the young

Seizi Suzuki

Center for e-Learning Research and Application, Nagaoka University of Technology 1603-1 Kamitomioka, Nagaoka, Niigata 940-2188, Japan

Abstract

Provisioning the young is an important form of insect parental care and is believed to improve the survival and growth of the young. Anisolabis maritima Bonelli (Dermaptera: Anisolabididae) is a cosmopolitan species of earwig that shows sub-social behavior in which the females tend clutches of eggs in soil burrows. The defensive and provisioning behaviors of these females were examined in this study. When disturbed, maternal individuals abandoned the nest less than non-maternal individuals. Females brought food to the nest after their eggs hatched, and the survival of the nymphs was increased by provisioning. Even when mothers were removed, providing food to the nymphs increased survival as well as when the nymphs were provisioned by the mother. These results show that A. maritima mothers provision the nymphs and that this provisioning improves their survival.

Keywords: defending behavior, food provisioning, maternal care

Correspondence: seizi@oberon.nagaokaut.ac.jp

Received: 30 July 2009 | Accepted: 4 September 2009 | Published: 22 October 2010

ISSN: 1536-2442 | Volume 10, Number 184

Suzuki S. 2010. Progressive provisioning by the females of the earwig, Anisolabis maritima, increases the survival rate of the young. Journal of Insect Science 10:184, available online: insectscience.org/10.184


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