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Old 03-01-2012, 11:02 AM   #1
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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

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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.
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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.
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Still, the ecological penalties for parental care can be so severe for insects that some entomologists wonder why it has persisted at all.
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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.
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So then why have all insects not abandoned caregiving? Let us reconsider the cost analysis.
http://www.colorado.edu/intphys/iphy...sectParent.pdf
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:14 AM   #2
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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
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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.
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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.
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