Social biology of the wood-feeding cockroach genus Salganea (Dictyoptera, Blaberidae, Panesthiinae): did ovoviviparity prevent the evolution of eusociality in the lineage?
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- Maekawa, K., Matsumoto, T. & Nalepa, C.A. Insect. Soc. (2008) 55: 107. doi:10.1007/s00040-008-0997-2
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Recent phylogenetic studies indicating that termites are eusocial cockroaches closely related to the genus Cryptocercus have generated fresh interest in wood-feeding Blattaria. Here we summarize the social biology of the wood-feeding genus Salganea (Blaberidae: Panesthiinae). As in Cryptocercus, Salganea exhibits long term, biparental care that includes the defense and feeding of young nymphs. Unlike Cryptocercus, however, Salganea is iteroparous: most studied species reproduce periodically over their lifetime. These divergent reproductive strategies are likely related to parental costs associated with their differing reproductive modes: Cryptocercus is oviparous, while Salganea is ovoviviparous. The pattern of parental investment associated with ovoviviparous reproduction may be one reason why Salganea and other ovoviviparous wood-feeding cockroach lineages did not evolve eusociality.