Precocene II modifies maternal responsiveness in the burrower bug, Sehirus cinctus (Heteroptera)

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The anti-Juvenile Hormone agent precocene II was used to investigate the relationship of corpora allata activity to subsocial behaviour in a burrower bug Sehirus cinctus Palisot (Heteroptera: Cydnidae). Egg-brooding females treated with range of dosages of precocene H exhibited reliably depressed maternal defensive behaviour when treated with at least 70 μg of precocene II, but attraction to eggs was only depressed at higher dosages. This effect was not due to precocene II toxicity, as demonstrated by the prevention of depression effects through simultaneous treatments of precocene II and the Juvenile Hormone analogue methoprene. Methoprene, however, failed to reinstate maternal responsiveness in maternally depressed females that had been previously treated with precocene II. This study provides the first clear evidence that insect parental behaviour can be modified by treatment with anti-Juvenile Hormone agents, and suggests that the role of the corpora allata in governing care in S. cinctus is different from that of other maternal insects, such as earwigs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-42
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiological Entomology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Burrower bug
  • Cydnidae
  • Juvenile Hormone
  • Maternal behaviour
  • Precocene


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