Reports

Treehoppers Transfer Parental Care to Ants: A New Benefit of Mutualism

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Science  29 Apr 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4596, pp. 532-533
DOI: 10.1126/science.220.4596.532

Abstract

Female treehoppers (Publilia reticulata Van Duzee) modify their parental care behavior in the presence of ants. Females with untended young remain with their original brood, but females from ant-tended colonies readily desert their first brood and produce additional clutches. Care by female treehoppers, in the absence of ants, increases the probability that a colony will produce some survivors, but ant attendance greatly increases the number of surviving nymphs.