Juveniles live in burrows, either their own or often those of the parent. These "family burrows," which lie at the end of the mothers' burrows (fathers do not participate in parental care), also often house one to eight uninvited juveniles from the related species Sphaeroma quadridentatum. Sphaeroma quadridentatum does not burrow but seeks refuge in crevices or other small hideaways. Sphaeroma terebrans females either do not distinguish the S. quadridentatum juveniles from their own or simply tolerate them. A survey of the burrows of reproductive S. terebrans females placed the proportion of those harboring S. quadridentatum juveniles at 30% and showed that young S. terebrans receive a shorter period of parental care in the shared burrows. Parental care may include general housekeeping duties, such as removal of waste, and ventilation and excavation of burrows.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment