Do honest signalling models of offspring solicitation apply to insects?

Claudia M Rauter, Allen J. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Honest signalling models predict that the intensity of solicitation by offspring influences the level of provisioning provided by parents and reflects offspring need. The empirical evidence supporting these predictions primarily comes from studies of birds or mammals. Thus, although parental care of altricial offspring is taxonomically widespread, the generality of these models is not well known. To investigate whether honest signalling models apply to insects, we manipulated parent and offspring behaviour in the burying beetle Nicrophorus orbicollis, a species with advanced parental care. First, within biparental care, we manipulated the brood size to alter the parents' perception of offspring need. We measured the care giving behaviour of male and female parents to examine whether either adjusts its level of care according to offspring need. In the second experiment, because two parents together provision the brood more often than single parents, we manipulated the number of care givers (uniparental and biparental care) and measured offspring solicitation to assess whether offspring change their behaviour in response to need. Our results show that parent behaviour is broadly consistent with the first prediction of the models; both sexes provisioned larger broods more often than smaller broods. Larval solicitation was also consistent with the second prediction; larvae that were provisioned less often begged more. Our results provide evidence that honest signalling models can be applied to insects as well as vertebrates, although there are also subtle differences in care giving behaviour that may be important.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1691-1696
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume266
Issue number1429
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 22 1999

Fingerprint

honest signaling
parental care
Insects
Parents
insect
insects
Single Parent
prediction
Nicrophorus orbicollis
single parents
single parent
Beetles
Mammals
brood size
Caregivers
Birds
Larva
Vertebrates
behavior change
beetle

Keywords

  • Begging
  • Burying beetle
  • Nicrophorus orbicollis
  • Offspring solicitation
  • Parent-offspring conflict
  • Parental care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Do honest signalling models of offspring solicitation apply to insects? / Rauter, Claudia M; Moore, Allen J.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 266, No. 1429, 22.08.1999, p. 1691-1696.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{0e15144266b0486c8a53cd2a84b7f4bb,
title = "Do honest signalling models of offspring solicitation apply to insects?",
abstract = "Honest signalling models predict that the intensity of solicitation by offspring influences the level of provisioning provided by parents and reflects offspring need. The empirical evidence supporting these predictions primarily comes from studies of birds or mammals. Thus, although parental care of altricial offspring is taxonomically widespread, the generality of these models is not well known. To investigate whether honest signalling models apply to insects, we manipulated parent and offspring behaviour in the burying beetle Nicrophorus orbicollis, a species with advanced parental care. First, within biparental care, we manipulated the brood size to alter the parents' perception of offspring need. We measured the care giving behaviour of male and female parents to examine whether either adjusts its level of care according to offspring need. In the second experiment, because two parents together provision the brood more often than single parents, we manipulated the number of care givers (uniparental and biparental care) and measured offspring solicitation to assess whether offspring change their behaviour in response to need. Our results show that parent behaviour is broadly consistent with the first prediction of the models; both sexes provisioned larger broods more often than smaller broods. Larval solicitation was also consistent with the second prediction; larvae that were provisioned less often begged more. Our results provide evidence that honest signalling models can be applied to insects as well as vertebrates, although there are also subtle differences in care giving behaviour that may be important.",
keywords = "Begging, Burying beetle, Nicrophorus orbicollis, Offspring solicitation, Parent-offspring conflict, Parental care",
author = "Rauter, {Claudia M} and Moore, {Allen J.}",
year = "1999",
month = "8",
day = "22",
doi = "10.1098/rspb.1999.0833",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "266",
pages = "1691--1696",
journal = "Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences",
issn = "0800-4622",
publisher = "Royal Society of London",
number = "1429",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Do honest signalling models of offspring solicitation apply to insects?

AU - Rauter, Claudia M

AU - Moore, Allen J.

PY - 1999/8/22

Y1 - 1999/8/22

N2 - Honest signalling models predict that the intensity of solicitation by offspring influences the level of provisioning provided by parents and reflects offspring need. The empirical evidence supporting these predictions primarily comes from studies of birds or mammals. Thus, although parental care of altricial offspring is taxonomically widespread, the generality of these models is not well known. To investigate whether honest signalling models apply to insects, we manipulated parent and offspring behaviour in the burying beetle Nicrophorus orbicollis, a species with advanced parental care. First, within biparental care, we manipulated the brood size to alter the parents' perception of offspring need. We measured the care giving behaviour of male and female parents to examine whether either adjusts its level of care according to offspring need. In the second experiment, because two parents together provision the brood more often than single parents, we manipulated the number of care givers (uniparental and biparental care) and measured offspring solicitation to assess whether offspring change their behaviour in response to need. Our results show that parent behaviour is broadly consistent with the first prediction of the models; both sexes provisioned larger broods more often than smaller broods. Larval solicitation was also consistent with the second prediction; larvae that were provisioned less often begged more. Our results provide evidence that honest signalling models can be applied to insects as well as vertebrates, although there are also subtle differences in care giving behaviour that may be important.

AB - Honest signalling models predict that the intensity of solicitation by offspring influences the level of provisioning provided by parents and reflects offspring need. The empirical evidence supporting these predictions primarily comes from studies of birds or mammals. Thus, although parental care of altricial offspring is taxonomically widespread, the generality of these models is not well known. To investigate whether honest signalling models apply to insects, we manipulated parent and offspring behaviour in the burying beetle Nicrophorus orbicollis, a species with advanced parental care. First, within biparental care, we manipulated the brood size to alter the parents' perception of offspring need. We measured the care giving behaviour of male and female parents to examine whether either adjusts its level of care according to offspring need. In the second experiment, because two parents together provision the brood more often than single parents, we manipulated the number of care givers (uniparental and biparental care) and measured offspring solicitation to assess whether offspring change their behaviour in response to need. Our results show that parent behaviour is broadly consistent with the first prediction of the models; both sexes provisioned larger broods more often than smaller broods. Larval solicitation was also consistent with the second prediction; larvae that were provisioned less often begged more. Our results provide evidence that honest signalling models can be applied to insects as well as vertebrates, although there are also subtle differences in care giving behaviour that may be important.

KW - Begging

KW - Burying beetle

KW - Nicrophorus orbicollis

KW - Offspring solicitation

KW - Parent-offspring conflict

KW - Parental care

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0033595327&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0033595327&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1098/rspb.1999.0833

DO - 10.1098/rspb.1999.0833

M3 - Article

VL - 266

SP - 1691

EP - 1696

JO - Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

JF - Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

SN - 0800-4622

IS - 1429

ER -