After locating a small vertebrate carcass necessary for reproduction, the ovaries of female burying beetles, Nicrophorus tomentosus, undergo rapid maturation. The proximate cue which triggers this development is the behaviour of the female herself. Neither the behaviour of the male (courtship or mating) nor the nutritional benefits from the carcass serve as cues for ovarian development. This effect of behaviour on reproductive condition, similar to that which occurs in birds and reptiles, has now been demonstrated in an invertebrate. © 1987.
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