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      Natural history of the social millipede Brachycybe lecontii Wood, 1864

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          Abstract

          The millipede Brachycybe lecontii Wood, 1864 is a fungivorous social millipede known for paternal care of eggs and forming multi-generational aggregations. We investigated the life history, paternal care, chemical defence, feeding and social behaviour of B. lecontii and provided morphological and anatomical descriptions, using light and scanning electron microscopy. Based on observations of B. lecontii from 13 locations throughout its distribution, we report the following natural history aspects. The oviposition period of B. lecontii lasted from mid-April to late June and the incubation period lasted 3–4 weeks. Only males cared for the eggs and subsequent care of juveniles was not observed. In one case, the clutches of two males became combined and they were later cared for by only one of the males. The defensive compound of B. lecontii is stored in large glands occupying a third of the paranotal volume and were observed only in stadia II millipedes and older. We observed B. lecontii feeding on fungi of the order Polyporales and describe a cuticular structure on the tip of the labrum that may relate to fungivory. We found that their stellate-shaped aggregations (pinwheels) do not form in the absence of fungus and suggest the aggregation is associated with feeding. We describe and illustrate a previously undescribed comb-like structure on the tibia and tarsi of the six anterior-most leg-pairs and measure the colour and spectral reflectance of the B. lecontii exoskeleton.

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          Most cited references 53

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          Anamorphosis in millipedes (Diplopoda)-the present state of knowledge with some developmental and phylogenetic considerations

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            Observations on the home range of one group of mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringel)

             Dian Fossey (1974)
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              A bacterial filter protects and structures the gut microbiome of an insect

              Associations with symbionts within the gut lumen of hosts are particularly prone to disruption due to the constant influx of ingested food and non-symbiotic microbes, yet we know little about how partner fidelity is maintained. Here we describe for the first time the existence of a gut morphological filter capable of protecting an animal gut microbiome from disruption. The proventriculus, a valve located between the crop and midgut of insects, functions as a micro-pore filter in the Sonoran Desert turtle ant (Cephalotes rohweri), blocking the entry of bacteria and particles ⩾0.2 μm into the midgut and hindgut while allowing passage of dissolved nutrients. Initial establishment of symbiotic gut bacteria occurs within the first few hours after pupation via oral–rectal trophallaxis, before the proventricular filter develops. Cephalotes ants are remarkable for having maintained a consistent core gut microbiome over evolutionary time and this partner fidelity is likely enabled by the proventricular filtering mechanism. In addition, the structure and function of the cephalotine proventriculus offers a new perspective on organismal resistance to pathogenic microbes, structuring of gut microbial communities, and development and maintenance of host–microbe fidelity both during the animal life cycle and over evolutionary time.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Biodivers Data J
                Biodivers Data J
                1
                urn:lsid:arphahub.com:pub:F9B2E808-C883-5F47-B276-6D62129E4FF4
                urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:245B00E9-BFE5-4B4F-B76E-15C30BA74C02
                Biodiversity Data Journal
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2836
                1314-2828
                2020
                03 April 2020
                : 8
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Entomology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, United States of America Department of Entomology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg United States of America
                [2 ] Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, United States of America Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, West Virginia University Morgantown United States of America
                [3 ] Department of Biology, East Carolina University, Greenville, United States of America Department of Biology, East Carolina University Greenville United States of America
                [4 ] Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, United States of America Virginia Tech Blacksburg United States of America
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Paul Marek ( paulemarek@ 123456gmail.com ).

                Academic editor: Pavel Stoev

                Article
                50770 13257
                10.3897/BDJ.8.e50770
                7148388
                Victoria L. Wong, Derek A. Hennen, Angie M. Macias, Michael S. Brewer, Matt T. Kasson, Paul Marek

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 16, Tables: 4, References: 63
                Categories
                Research Article

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