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Physiological cost of maternal care? Effect of pre- and post-hatching care on the clutch size in the earwig Anisolabis maritima

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There may be a trade-off between parental care and future reproductive success. Parental care usually consists of multiple components, and quantifying the cost of each component is necessary to assess the exact costs of parental care. In this study, I examined the trade-offs associated with maternal care in the earwig Anisolabis maritima (Dermaptera: Anisolabididae). I evaluated how many clutches A. maritima can produce and how the number and size of the clutch are affected by maternal care, distinguishing the cost of each component. The interval from the time point at which the mothers were removed from their eggs or young to produce the next clutch differed with treatment, and a significant interaction was observed between the effects of clutch order and presence of care on the size of the next clutch when the first clutch was removed immediately. However, longevity and total lifetime fecundity were not different in the presence or absence of care. This showed that females which were removed from a clutch produced the second or later clutches more rapidly although the clutch sizes were smaller. Because the total lifetime fecundity did not differ, irrespective of the presence or absence of care, it is possible that the costs of such care in A. maritima have a small effect.

Affiliations: 1: Ecology & Systematics, Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan


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