Effects of Offspring and Parental Inbreeding on Parent-Offspring Communication

The American Naturalist
S N MatteyPer T Smiseth


There is mounting evidence that inbreeding can have complex effects on social interactions among inbred and outbred individuals. Here, we investigate effects of offspring and maternal inbreeding on parent-offspring communication in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides. We find effects of the interaction between offspring and maternal inbreeding on maternal behavior. Outbred females provided more direct care toward inbred larvae, while inbred females provided similar levels of direct care toward inbred and outbred larvae. Furthermore, we find direct and indirect effects of offspring inbreeding on offspring begging and maternal behavior, respectively. Inbred larvae spent less time begging than outbred larvae, and (outbred) females provided more direct care and less indirect care toward inbred larvae. Finally, we find effects of the interaction between offspring and maternal inbreeding on larval body mass. Inbred and outbred offspring grew to a similar size when the female was outbred, while inbred offspring were of a smaller size when the female was inbred. Our results suggest that outbred females provided more care toward inbred offspring to compensate for their poor genetic quality. Our study advances our understanding o...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Nicrophorus vespilloides
Inbred Strain
Order Coleoptera
Patient Care
Carrion beetle
Sib Mating

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