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Old 03-01-2012, 11:02 AM   #1
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Location: Midwest
beetle1 Child Care Among the Insects

Child Care Among the Insects
Why do some insect parents risk their lives to care for their young?
Douglas W. Tallamy
Photographs by Ken Preston-Mafham

But as late as 1971 many scientists hotly contested the idea that some insects actively care for their young. Even those who accepted the observations assumed that parental care was an innovation that only the most sophisticated bugs had managed to achieve.
But caring for offspring is hardly a recent innovation. It is common in invertebrates, including mollusks, worms, rotifers and even jellyfish. Among arthropods, it is the rule for centipedes, spiders, scorpions, sea spiders and the likely closest relatives of insects, the crustaceans.
Still, the ecological penalties for parental care can be so severe for insects that some entomologists wonder why it has persisted at all.
Insect caregivers typically protect only the eggs, but in some species one or both parents will defend the young as well. In that case, the parent and offspring must communicate extensively and coordinate their movement.
So then why have all insects not abandoned caregiving? Let us reconsider the cost analysis.
"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.
When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."
Aldo Leopold

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Old 03-01-2012, 11:14 AM   #2
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Location: Monroe County, WV, USA

A very interesting subject - I first became aware of this phenomenon when I read about beetles in the family Passalidae ('Bess beetles') where they live communally in rotting logs and the adults and larvae appear to communicate with each other through stridulation. Passalidae - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures.”

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Old 03-01-2012, 12:20 PM   #3
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The wolf and some of the other spiders show this tendency by carrying their egg sacks until they hatch.
The new little ones will then further stick with the adult for some time afterwards.
The successful woman is the woman that had the chance and took it!

A walk among the elusive Whitetail Deer
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
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....And here I thought the thread was going to be about a day care that promoted native species that supported insect pollinators...and the benefits of raising kids with a love and awareness of nature. Go figure.
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
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care, child, insects

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