Leaf beetle taxa belonging to the Camptosomata use their fecal material to construct cases within which their larvae develop. Despite this intriguing behavior, the fine-scale natural history of very few camptosomates has been determined. Here, we present a highly detailed account of fecal case construction and associated behaviors and life history patterns in Neochlamisus casebearers. This study documents diverse elements of oviposition and egg case construction, larval development and case enlargement, pupal case formation, and adult maturation and emergence. Using an independently derived method, we further document temporal and spatial aspects of larval case architecture. Assays of 10 Neochlamisus taxa in the laboratory are supplemented with field observations in perhaps the single most comprehensive description of case-associated camptosomate biology.
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Vol. 98 • No. 5