Eur. J. Entomol. 99 (1): 29-34, 2002 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2002.008

Subsocial and aggregating behaviour in Southeast Asian treehoppers (Homoptera: Membracidae: Centrotinae)

Ulrich Ekkehard STEGMANN, Karl Eduard LINSENMAIR*
University of Würzburg, Biozentrum, Zoologie III, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany

Maternal care within the treehopper subfamily Centrotinae has been considered a rare trait. We present observations on maternal care and nymphal behaviour made in 16 rain forest plots in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, Borneo, from 1996 to 1998. Females of 11 Centrotinae morphospecies from the tribes Centrocharesini (Centrochares Stål), Gargarini (Ebhul Distant), and Hypsaucheniini (Gigantorhabdus Schmidt, Hybandoides Distant, Pyrgauchenia Breddin, Pyrgonota Stål) produced egg clutches and guarded them. Maternal care was restricted to egg-guarding in all species. Pyrgonota ?bulbosa Buckton eggs hatched successively over a couple of days and females deserted their clutches when most, but not all, 1st instar nymphs had hatched. Nymphs of egg-guarding species lived gregariously and/or by subaggregating, as did some non-guarding species. Leptobelus dama Germar, Gargara semibrunnea Funkhouser, and two Tricentrus Stål spp. were solitary as nymphs and adults.

Keywords: Subsociality, egg-guarding, maternal care, gregariousness, aggregation, treehoppers, Membracidae, Malaysia, Sundaland, Hypsaucheniini, Ebhul, Centrochares, anttrophobiosis

Received: February 27, 2001; Accepted: November 7, 2001; Published: March 15, 2002

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