Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 409–414 | Cite as

Factors affecting the allocation of paternal care in waterbugs (Belostoma flumineum Say)

  • Scott L. Kight
  • Kipp C. Kruse


Male giant waterbugs (Belostoma flumineum Say) brood eggs oviposited on their dorsa by conspecific females. Laboratory observations indicate that viable egg pads are occasionally discarded before hatching. Theory predicts that such behavior should occur only if the costs incurred by brooding exceed the benefits of hatching the egg pad. We studied the effects of egg pad size, time invested in brooding, and egg viability upon the continuation of paternal care in the giant waterbug. We found that smaller egg pads are less likely to hatch than larger ones, and males appear to be less likely to discard egg pads as temporal investment increases. However, the inviability of eggs did not appear to affect the probability of an egg pad being discarded. Males of this species appear to have evolved a decision-making process involving the continuation of paternal care.


Laboratory Observation Paternal Care Conspecific Female Investment Increase Temporal Investment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott L. Kight
    • 1
  • Kipp C. Kruse
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyEastern Illinois UniversityCharlestonUSA

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