Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 181-188

First online:

Male counterstrategy against infanticide of the female giant water bugLethocerus deyrollei (Hemiptera: Belostomatidae)

  • Noritaka IchikawaAffiliated withHimeji City Aquarium

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The male giant water bug'sLethocerus deyrollei counterstrategy against egg mass destruction by the female was investigated in the laboratory. When mature females encounter a brooding male, they destroy his egg mass and thereby take over the mate and gain a nurse for their own egg mass. However, when the male stays on egg masses laid above the water surface, females cannot detect the male nor the egg mass. Eggs of this species fail to hatch without being supplied with water by males. In the observation, brooding males frequently ascend the stick to the egg mass and stay there for long periods, although most of the water attached to their body surface flowed down in 90 s. These long stays on egg masses are regarded as countestrategies against females.

Key words

Belostomatidae giant water bugs paternal care infanticide counterstrategy