Brood size in a subsocial bark beetle breeding in live plants
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Maternal care is found in many insect species, and maternal care affects both offspring survival and growth significantly. The effect of maternal care was tested on the monogynous bark beetle Scolytodes gunnerae which breeds in live Gunnera petioles, by experimentally removing females from galleries to see how offspring survival and the number of offspring was affected. No consistent effect of female presence was found, and any effect of maternal presence was small. Female presence is discussed, and could be a case of functional semelparity. The brood size for this species was also found to be extremely small, and this is also discussed herein.