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Convergence of Social Strategies in Carrion Breeding Insects

Version 2 2024-06-02, 23:58
Version 1 2023-10-20, 02:46
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-02, 23:58 authored by D Charabidze, S Trumbo, A Grzywacz, JT Costa, ME Benbow, Philip BartonPhilip Barton, S Matuszewski
Abstract Carrion is a highly ephemeral and nutrient rich resource, characterized by extreme biotic and abiotic stressors. We hypothesized that specific constraints of the carrion ecosystem, and especially its nutrient richness, ephemerality, and competition with microbes, have promoted the evolution of social behaviors in necrophagous insects. We show that group living is prevalent among early succession carrion breeding insects, suggesting that this trait has emerged as an adaptation to facilitate survival in the highly competitive environment of fresh carrion. We then highlight how developmental niche construction allows larvae to compete with microbes, efficiently feed on fresh cadavers, and rapidly reach maturity. We observed that larval societies and parental care are two different strategies responding to similar competitive and environmental constraints. We conclude that intra and interspecific competition on carrion are mitigated by social behavior.

History

Journal

Bioscience

Volume

71

Pagination

1028-1037

Location

Oxford, Eng.

ISSN

0006-3568

eISSN

1525-3244

Language

English

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

10

Publisher

Oxford University Press