As Mother’s Day approaches, we can consider not only our mothers but also mothers in the insect world. Did you know that the earwig is perhaps the best mom in the insect world according to many scholars?  Earwig mothers can spend weeks without food to care for their young. The earwig will meticulously clean and move her eggs if she senses danger for her brood. If eggs are laid in an area where there is a pathogen present, the female will clean the egg to eliminate infection to the eggs.

Cockroach moms are quite special also. The cockroach mom lays her eggs in a protein capsule called an ootheca. She carries this egg sac on her body and protects her young until it is time for the eggs to hatch. In doing this she protects the eggs from predators.

Burying Beetles also make great moms. I know it sounds gross, but mother Burying Beetles feed on carrion and then regurgitate nourishment to the young. Females engage in fights to protect the young much better than their male counterpart. Even if wounded, the female will defend and care for her brood.

Wolf spiders not only carry an egg sac containing the unborn young, but when the eggs do hatch, the female wolf spider continues to carry its young until they are ready to make it on their own.

In all the examples above, the females carry most if not all the burden of having and caring for their young and sometimes pay the ultimate price. In the case of the Strepsiptera, its young are born on the inside the mother and the offspring consume their mother from the inside out. Now that fact is an act of true self-sacrifice in continuation of the species.

The work and sacrifice of insect moms should never be unnoticed just as the work and sacrifice of our own mothers should never be forgotten. Tell your mom today you appreciate her!