Laboratory observation of siblicide with hatching asynchrony in an insect with parental provisioning
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We report laboratory observation of siblicide with hatching asynchrony in the passalid beetle Cylindrocaulus patalis. Parents construct a breeding gallery in rotten logs and show complex care of offspring, including provisioning. Clutch sizes are extremely small, and only a single offspring is raised in a colony in each breeding season. We introduced field-collected colonies into an artificial gallery and recorded the behaviour of colony members. Eggs hatched at 2- to 10-day intervals in each colony. Fatal fighting invariably occurred among the larvae soon after hatching of the junior larva, and a single larva, usually the senior one, survived.
KeywordsHatching asynchrony Sibling rivalry Siblicide Parental care Passalidae
We thank Douglas Mock for his critical comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Constructive comments form an anonymous reviewer also improved the manuscript.
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