Altered photocyclic regimes influence the duration of maternal care in a burrower bug (Heteroptera: Cydnidae)

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Abstract

Female burrower bugs, Sehirus cinctus (Heteroptera: Cydnidae), terminate egg care after a predictable interval when eggs do not hatch. This study examined the influence of light/dark (L:D) cycling on the termination of care. Females kept under rapidly cycling light/dark periods (15L:3D) did not differ from controls (15L:9D), with both groups terminating care 8 days after anticipated hatch. In contrast, females kept under slowly cycling light/dark periods (15L:15D) remained responsive for 2 additional days. in terms of the number of light/dark cycles experienced, however, females under slowly cycling light/dark periods (15L:15D) were similar to controls (15L:9D), with both groups terminating care 8 photocycles after anticipated hatch. In contrast, females kept under rapidly cycling light/dark periods (15L:3D) remained responsive for 2 additional photocycles. The results of this study suggest that insect subsocial behavior is influenced by metabolic and photocyclic cues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalEntomological News
Volume111
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000

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