Parental care influences social immunity in burying beetle larvae

Reavey, C. E. and Beare, L. and Cotter, S. C. (2014) Parental care influences social immunity in burying beetle larvae. Ecological Entomology, 39 (3). pp. 395-398. ISSN 0307-6946

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Abstract

1. We provide evidence for social immunity in offspring of a sub-social species, the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides.
2. N. vespilloides is a carrion breeder, and in a similar fashion to the adult beetles, the offspring produce exudates that exhibit lytic activity, which are used to coat the breeding resource. This strategy defends against the microbial community.
3. The lytic activity in larval exudates declines as the brood develops, perhaps being most beneficial at the start of the breeding bout.
4. Changing levels of parental care through widowing/orphaning affects lytic activity in the larval exudates, with levels decreasing in the absence of both parents.

Keywords:antibacterial, ecological immunology, insect, lysozyme, Nicrophorus, parental care, social immunity, NotOAChecked
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C150 Environmental Biology
C Biological Sciences > C340 Entomology
C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
C Biological Sciences > C120 Behavioural Biology
C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
C Biological Sciences > C110 Applied Biology
C Biological Sciences > C100 Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:16027
Deposited On:17 Nov 2014 15:12

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