, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 107-114
Date: 15 Apr 2008

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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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.

Received 21 August 2007; revised 25 January 2008; accepted 22 Feburary 2008.