“The road to reproduction”: foraging trails of Constrictotermes cyphergaster (Termitidae: Nasutitermitinae) as maternities for Staphylinidae beetles

Mário Herculano de Oliveira, Rhian Vilar da Silva Vieira, Igor Eloi Moreira, Carlos Moreno Pires-Silva, Hidalgo Valentim Gomes de Lima, Marllon Rinaldo de Lima Andrade, Maria Avany Bezerra-Gusmão


Corotoca (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) beetles are known for their close integration in the nests of the termite Constrictotermes cyphergaster (Termitidae: Nasutitermitinae). Although this relationship is regarded as ancient, many details are still obscure, such as their reproduction and the processes that lead to the dispersal of new beetles. We observed the use of termite foraging trails by Staphylinidae females to deposit and disperse their larvae. We recorded the deposition of larvae of C. melantho, C. fontesi, and C. sp. n. on the dorsal surfaces of termite host workers. The workers continue to follow the foraging trail until the newborn larvae freed themselves and fell into the leaf litter, subsequently burrowing into the ground. Information regarding the life stages of those Staphylinidae larvae outside the termite nest is important to understanding their full lifecycle as those taxa have strong relationships with the nest environment but also require dispersal strategies.


Termitophily, Corotoca, Larvae, Dispersal.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v65i3.2902


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