- In this study, evidence is provided of social immunity in the offspring of a sub-social species, the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides.
- Nicrophorus vespilloides is a carrion breeder and, in a similar fashion to the adult beetles, the offspring produce exudates that exhibit lytic activity, which are used to coat the breeding resource. This strategy defends against the microbial community.
- The lytic activity in larval exudates declines as the brood develops, perhaps being most beneficial at the start of the breeding bout.
- Changing levels of parental care through widowing/orphaning affects lytic activity in the larval exudates, with levels decreasing in the absence of both parents.