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Insects 2016, 7(2), 18; doi:10.3390/insects7020018

Super-Protective Child-Rearing by Japanese Bess Beetles, Cylindrocaulus patalis: Adults Provide Their Larvae with Chewed and Predigested Wood

1
Biosystematics Laboratory, Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan
2
Laboratory of Biotechnology in Daily Life, Department of Bioscience in Daily Life, Nihon University, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0880, Japan
3
Laboratory of Forest Zoology, Department of Forest Science and Resources, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0880, Japan
4
Institute of Decision Science for a Sustainable Society, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Brian T. Forschler
Received: 6 March 2016 / Revised: 18 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 26 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Wood-Attacking Insects)
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Abstract

Beetles of the family Passalidae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea) are termed subsocial. The insects inhabit rotten wood as family groups consisting of the parents and their offspring. The Japanese species Cylindrocaulus patalis has the lowest fecundity among passalids because siblicide occurs among the first-instar larvae; accordingly, parental care toward the survived larva is the highest among Passalidae. To clarify the nutritional relationships between the parents and their offspring, we investigated their ability to digest three types of polysaccharides that are components of wood (cellulose and β-1,4-xylan) and fungal cell walls (β-1,3-glucan). Although carboxymethyl-cellulase activity was barely detectable, β-xylosidase, β-glucosidase, β-1,4-xylanase and β-1,3-glucanase activities were clearly detected in both adults and larvae. Because the activities of enzymes that digest β-1,3-glucan were much higher than those for degrading β-1,4-xylan, in both adults and larvae, it is concluded that they are mainly fungivorous. Furthermore, these digestive enzymatic activities in second- and third-instar larvae were much lower than they were in adults. Although all larval instars grew rapidly when fed chewed wood by their parents, larvae ceased growing and died when fed only artificially ground wood meals. We conclude that the larvae are assumed to be provided with chewed predigested wood in which β-1,3-glucan is degraded by parental enzymes. View Full-Text
Keywords: super-protective child-rearing; bess beetles; Cylindrocaulus patalis ; rotten wood; glycosidase activity; glycanase activity; mycophagy; chewed and predigested wood by the parents super-protective child-rearing; bess beetles; Cylindrocaulus patalis ; rotten wood; glycosidase activity; glycanase activity; mycophagy; chewed and predigested wood by the parents
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mishima, T.; Wada, N.; Iwata, R.; Anzai, H.; Hosoya, T.; Araya, K. Super-Protective Child-Rearing by Japanese Bess Beetles, Cylindrocaulus patalis: Adults Provide Their Larvae with Chewed and Predigested Wood. Insects 2016, 7, 18.

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