Big Momma – a video experiment

Big Momma – a video experiment

It is day 12, the larvae have dispersed from the mouse carcass. Because burying beetle larvae do not feed anymore once they disperse from the carcass, they also will not grow anymore. Therefore, in today’s episode we will find out who won Big Momma!

 

 

 

For those who want to take an extensive look at the larvae, here is a picture of them:

BuryingBeetleLarvae

Here are some statistics for both of our girls.

Truus:

  • 18 larvae
  • Total weight brood : 2.88 gram
  • Biggest larvae = 0.21 gram
  • Smallest larvae = 0.12 gram
  • Average larvae = 0.16 gram

Betsy:

  • 6 larvae
  • Total weight brood : 1.24 gram
  • Biggest larvae = 0.23 gram
  • Smallest larvae = 0.14 gram
  • Average larvae = 0.21 gram

And here is a plot of the weight distribution of both our girls (Kindly provided by Michiel Fokkelman).

BIg momma

Betsy’s larvae beat Truus her larvae in size by an average of 30%! This makes Betsy the winner!

A short update about our Big Momma’s. After last time some of the more funny visitors of Science Explained have voted for poor Patries. She is crying in beetle heaven now.


Not too many changes so far so I’ll simply show some pictures. Truus is still going strong as she aims to crush the competition. As you can see in the pictures below, there is not much left of the mouse. One picture below that you can see the sweet little babies from Truus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truus the beetle
Truus her babies
 

 

 

 

 

But let’s not forget about Betsy! Betsy is doing great too. However, she made such a nice mouse-carcass ball that it is still impossible to look inside at her larvae:

Betsy the beetle

It is almost time for the babies to leave the house and go find a place of their own in this world. Most likely both the children of Betsy and the children of Truus will disperse during the weekend and early next week we will be able to count the number of babies and weigh them to get a first glance at who is doing better!

Previously we have seen Patries and Sheneenee struggle with their mouse carcass. But how are they doing? Watch the next episode of Big Momma!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have seen the start of the competition between the small females Patries and Sheneenee and the big females Truus and Betsy.
Watch the third episode of Big Momma today to find out how the girls are doing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yesterday we have seen the start of the competition between the small females Patries and Sheneenee and the big females Truus and Betsy.
Watch the second episode of Big Momma today to find out how the girls are doing!

 

 

 

 

 

 


I talked about the eggs of Truus and Betsy. Here is a picture of a few of the eggs of Truus so you know what they look like:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I also talked about anal and oral secretions. I used a different beetle that is not involved in the experiment to show you guys what it looks like when a beetle secretes its anal secretions (believe me, you can smell it).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As promised in the video, here is the picture of our contestants. From left to right we have Sheneenee, Patries, Truus and of course Betsy.

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We want to also show the breeding boxes:

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Even though the beetles just arrived at the carcass they are already crawling around. But as you can see in the movie below, the big girls Truus en Betsy are the most active:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But take a look at Betsy, you go girl!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite contender in the poll below!

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