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Volume 2010, Article ID 206318, 5 pages
Research Article

Effect of Carcass Size on Feeding Modes of Larvae of Nicrophorus quadripunctatus Kraatz (Coleoptera: Silphidae)

Department of Applied Biological Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Saga University, Honjo 1, Saga 840-8502, Japan

Received 11 March 2010; Revised 9 June 2010; Accepted 7 July 2010

Academic Editor: David Denlinger

Copyright © 2010 Ryu Kishida and Nobuhiko Suzuki. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the parental care of burying beetles of Nicrophorus, the role of males has not been clearly elucidated. To test our hypothesis that the investment in resource manipulation by males influences the feeding of larvae by males, we investigated parental efforts of N. quadripunctatus. On the small carcasses, the time spent on resource manipulation by males was short, and the males left the carcasses without feeding the larvae (maternal feeding). On the large carcasses, the males spent a long time on resource manipulation, and the male participated in the feeding of larvae (biparental feeding). This suggests that one of the reproductive roles of males in the absence of predators and/or competitors is resource manipulation, and the paternal efforts change depending on carcass size. A longer time spent on resource manipulation by males may be a trigger for the males to participate in the feeding of larvae on large carcasses.