Defense of Mate and Mating Chamber in a Wood Roach

Science  27 Mar 1964:
Vol. 143, Issue 3613, pp. 1459-1460
DOI: 10.1126/science.143.3613.1459


Studies of the eastern wood roach, Cryptocercus punctulatus, reveal that, under laboratory conditions, the mating chambers in rotten wood are inhabited by mated pairs, the male of which will usually defend the chamber successfully against intruding males by a form of fighting. In every staged contest in which the intruder won the fight, it also won the resident female. Females, as well as unmated males singly inhabiting a chamber, could not be induced to defend against an intruder of either sex.