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Kin recognition loss following anesthesia in beetle larvae (Aleochara bilineata, Coleoptera, Staphylinidae)

Abstract : Kin recognition is a complex cognitive process, where an individual should detect a phenotypic cue and compare it to an internal template, which might be genetically determined (i.e., innate or acquired). Kin recognition mechanisms will depend on whether previous encounters with kin are possible or not to form the individual internal template. When relatives have never met before, kin recognition is supposed to rely on recognition alleles (which allows the innate recognition of relatives bearing them), or on self-referent phenotype matching (the individual has formed a template using its own phenotype and recognizes as kin individuals which match it closely enough). Although self-referent phenotype matching is in theory the more likely explanation, it has not been possible so far to exclude experimentally the recognition alleles’ hypothesis. Here, we report that kin recognition in the solitary parasitoid larvae of Aleochara bilineata (Coleoptera; Staphylinidae) is suppressed following carbon dioxide anesthesia or chill-coma, both treatments known to cause a temporary amnesia. Treated larvae superparasitize indifferently hosts parasitized either by siblings or by non-kin larvae, while untreated larvae avoid hosts occupied by siblings. The two types of anesthesia thus suppress kin recognition, but their global effect on larvae is different. Chill-coma suppresses the ability to distinguish parasitized from unparasitized hosts and reduces parasitism rate, suggesting an aspecific impairment of sensory receptors or cognition. However, carbon dioxide narcosis only impairs kin recognition, strongly suggesting that an intact memory is necessary for kin recognition to take place. Although this study does not address the recognition alleles’ hypothesis per se, our results strongly support a self-referent phenotype matching mechanism. On the whole, kin recognition in A. bilineata larvae is effective through short-term memory, because it is affected by amnesic treatments.
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Contributor : Valerie Briand <>
Submitted on : Sunday, November 20, 2016 - 6:16:48 PM
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Anne Lizé, Julie Clément, Anne Marie Cortesero, Denis Poinsot. Kin recognition loss following anesthesia in beetle larvae (Aleochara bilineata, Coleoptera, Staphylinidae). Animal Cognition, Springer Verlag (Germany), 2010, 13 (1), pp.189-194. ⟨10.1007/s10071-009-0247-7⟩. ⟨hal-01399752⟩



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