Friday, May 20, 2011

The Japanese Red Bug: Motherhood can kill, literally

Most animals and insects do not care for their young, but this insect does. The Japanese Red Bug cares for her young until they are old enough to get the food by themselves. They eat the fallen fruit from only one rare type of tree. The Schoepfia jasminodora produce a fleshy fruit called a drupe. These are only available for two weeks, so by the time the fruit are ripe, the little bugs are there.
      The newly hatched,  little bugs like only the most perfect ripe fruit and the job of finding them could take hours. But that's not the only trouble, stealing fruit from another Red Bug can be more effective than spending time looking for them. When the parent loses the fruit and don't get one fast enough, they could be coming home to an empty burrow. The lucky parent who comes back to double the baby bugs, will be forced to satiate their hunger. That is not an easy task though. Sometimes, the mother will be worked to death by the time the bugs leave the burrow. The bugs last meal at home would be her carcass.

1 comment:

  1. I was fascinated that the baby Japanese red bugs will eat their Mom. My blog is


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