Poo, fly... Do any invertebrates avoid their own poo?
April 10, 2014 5:32 PM   Subscribe

A number of mammals (including us!) instinctually move away from their own feces, or try not to soil their living spaces. Does anybody know of an example of an invertebrate, insect or otherwise, which displays the behavior of avoiding their own waste?

Asking for my scientist husband here. Every time he's googling "insects and feces", he's finding links about insects in poo (yuck!) Apparently the subject is also well studied in farm animals... but not so much in bugs?
posted by wyzewoman to Science & Nature (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Drywood termites construct special holes to push their feces out of their nests.
posted by TungstenChef at 5:53 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Thanks TungstenChef, that's really neat!

My husband clarifies that he's particularly interested in animals that avoid eating where they poop -- I guess I'd misunderstood!
posted by wyzewoman at 6:11 PM on April 10, 2014

Bees never poop in their hive, unless they're sick (apiarists will routinely check hives for feces near the entrance which can indicate nosema, a deadly form of bee dystentery). During winter or times of stress they eat stored honey in their hives.
posted by Specklet at 7:34 PM on April 10, 2014

Hey, you beat me to the caterpillars! I was an undergrad in Stan Caveney's lab when he was working on that paper.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 5:17 AM on April 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

Thanks, guys -- these are some good leads!
posted by wyzewoman at 7:26 AM on April 11, 2014

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