|Title||Nesting failure in burying beetles and the origin of communal associations|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1995|
Information on reproductive success and the probability of nest failure was gathered from 11 recent studies of Nicrophorus defodiens, which readily forms communal breeding associations and Nicrophorus orbicollis, which rarely tolerates consexuals in the nest. Nicrophorus defodiens was subject to a high rate of nest failure on larger carcasses and consequently, is expected to achieve little reproductive benefit by excluding a rival during nest initiation. Nicrophorus orbicollis, on the other hand, was successful on a higher proportion of carcasses of all sizes and is predicted to gain substantial benefits by excluding a rival. These findings support the hypothesis that high rates of nest failure can promote the evolution of tolerance and incipient communality among unrelated adults, even in the absence of immediate reproductive gains.