1/30/2022: There’s nothing like a mother’s love
Relatable behaviors (and a ounce of projection) are what naturally draw the majority to certain animals. We think it’s very endearing and precious to see a mother duck with her babies in tow, a dog with her puppies tumbling all over her, or a hoof-rat (known to some as white-tail deer) nursing her spawn, perhaps reminding us of our own tender familial experiences. Well, invertebrates can be just as doting and loving, if not moreso!
For several months now, I have watched a gravid female Euborellia arcanum construct, defend, clean, and guard her nesting chamber. Her cluster of creamy eggs is the recipient of incessant devotion as she checks and grooms them, and it seems she may not have left the chamber for any purpose once her brood was laid. Finally, all of her devotion paid off as babies began hatching.
Sure, her behaviors are instinctual and mechanical, but that does not downplay her resolve or the intimacy of the situation. After all, even in “higher” organisms, our subjective experiences all have their chemical and innate bases.
This was quite a brood for her to produce and protect and I’m thrilled to watch this large cohort come of age and manifest destiny throughout their new spacious enclosure