We describe post-ovipositional maternal care in Liogonyleptoides tetracanthus Mello-Leitão 1932 (Gonyleptinae) and experimentally evaluate the protective role of this behavior against egg predation under laboratory conditions. Females laid 138.8 eggs on average and remained close to the clutch during the entire day. Eggs hatched after 11–15 days and nymphs dispersed from maternal protection after one to two days. Most of the experimental clutches left unattended were entirely consumed by conspecifics in 2–3 days. There was no reduction in egg number in the clutches protected by females. Although biological data are scarce, there are cases of egg hiding, paternal and maternal care within the subfamily Gonyleptinae. This diversity of forms of parental care is unusual when compared to other gonyleptid subfamilies, and future systematic revisions of the polyphyletic Gonyleptinae should include parental care as a potential source of phylogenetic information.
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Vol. 40 • No. 1