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Evolutionary Ecology of Social and Sexual SystemsCrustaceans as Model Organisms$
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J. Emmett Duffy and Martin Thiel

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179927.001.0001

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Sociobiology of Terrestrial Isopods

Sociobiology of Terrestrial Isopods

(p.339) 16 Sociobiology of Terrestrial Isopods
Evolutionary Ecology of Social and Sexual Systems

Karl Eduard Linsenmair

Oxford University Press

Isopods are the only crustacean taxon with many truly terrestrial species, including desert inhabitants. These species show a highly developed social behavior that is crucial for survival under the harsh conditions in desert environments. The desert-living Hemilepistus spp. depend on burrows that are costly to produce, can only be dug anew in spring, and have to be continuously defended against competitors. This is achieved by division of labor between the sexually and socially monogamous pair partners, and later with the progeny's participation. Using a comparative approach, this chapter draws inferences about the probable evolutionary route to the strict monogamous mating system found in one of the best studied and highly social species, H. reaumuri. It concludes that the narrow temporal window during which the extremely valuable family burrow can be constructed has resulted in the sophisticated social behavior found in this semelparous oniscoid isopod.

Keywords:   burrow-living, monogamy, extended parental care, social recognition, defense, cooperation

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