, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 211-213
Date: 18 Mar 2005

Matriphagy in the hump earwig, Anechura harmandi (Dermaptera: Forficulidae), increases the survival rates of the offspring

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Abstract

Females of the hump earwig, Anechura harmandi, are completely consumed by their offspring at the end of their care (matriphagy). The effect of this matriphagy was assessed by manipulative experiments. Matriphagy led to a delay in the dispersal of the nymphs and an increase in their survival rate. The same results were obtained when mothers were removed and the nymphs were given sufficient food. Females separated from their offspring after larval hatching failed to produce a second clutch, and three-quarters of them did not develop their ovaries. These results suggest that the survival of nymphs and their stay in the nest are dependent on food availability and that A. harmandi females are strictly semelparous.