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Male counterstrategy against infanticide of the female giant water bugLethocerus deyrollei (Hemiptera: Belostomatidae)

Abstract

The male giant water bug'sLethocerus deyrollei counterstrategy against egg mass destruction by the female was investigated in the laboratory. When mature females encounter a brooding male, they destroy his egg mass and thereby take over the mate and gain a nurse for their own egg mass. However, when the male stays on egg masses laid above the water surface, females cannot detect the male nor the egg mass. Eggs of this species fail to hatch without being supplied with water by males. In the observation, brooding males frequently ascend the stick to the egg mass and stay there for long periods, although most of the water attached to their body surface flowed down in 90 s. These long stays on egg masses are regarded as countestrategies against females.

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Ichikawa, N. Male counterstrategy against infanticide of the female giant water bugLethocerus deyrollei (Hemiptera: Belostomatidae). J Insect Behav 8, 181–188 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01988903

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01988903

Key words

  • Belostomatidae
  • giant water bugs
  • paternal care
  • infanticide counterstrategy