Weird Insect Sex
Five bizarre mating rituals in the insect world.
African Bat Bug
When it comes to the African bat bug’s sex life, bizarre doesn’t even come close. Male bat bugs hate the “vagina” so to speak. Instead, like their close cousin the bed bug, they like to pierce the female’s abdomen. The male then ejaculates into the female’s bloodstream, where it migrates to the female’s ovaries and fertilizes the eggs. The female hates the male’s insensitive poking, and has learned to adapt to his intrusiveness. This has resulted in the female counter-adaptation in the form of paragenitalia, or rather, the female has a spongy area on her abdomen (much like a male’s) that absorbs the male’s sharp penis. But it gets weirder. Apparently males like to jab one another while attempting to copulate with females. Evolution kicked in and some males have adapted by growing protective shields like the females.
The male cricket has special, fleshy hind wings that the female loves to munch on during intercourse. Of course the munching actually leads to the female eating the wings completely off. Sometimes she’ll eat all the way down to his back, creating deep wounds, where she’ll then proceed to lap up his seeping fluids.
In the fruit fly, these kinky little guys are able to switch their sexes. Males can become females and females can become boys. When biotechnologists did research on fruit flies by genetically altering them, they noticed that the males spurned the advances of females and were attracted only to males. Females that were altered would engage in male mating rituals by vibrating their wings, licking other female flies’ genitalia, and arch their backs in receptiveness to copulation. If a male tried to mate with a female, she’d rebuke his advances.
Bring on the sex wars. The genitals of male seed beetles are exceedingly spiny. When copulating with females, they will “anchor” themselves inside of the female acting as a chastity belt. The spikes can often times cause serious damage to the female in the process. Despite the pain of sex, some females are willing to engage in multiple matings. The female will feed on the male’s copious amount of sperm, which can take up to 10% of his body weight. Since their diet is so dry, the male’s ejaculate acts as a water source for the female. Females who primarily eat beans and lack a water source will mate with as many males as possible to satiate their thirst.
Orchid Dupe Wasp (Lissiopimpla Excelsa)Read more in Science
These guys will have sex with anything, literally. But it’s not their fault. Orchids sometimes mess with male wasps by sending out female-mimicking scents that lure them into spreading pollen. The males become so aroused by the Australian orchid, that the frisky guys leave their sperm on the petals of the orchid. The orchid’s deception allows for its own spreading of its seed. The males at first, when they are young, cannot distinguish between the orchid and a female wasp. And the female wasp could care less if the male is out loving the orchid. The females can asexually reproduce. Men. Who needs ‘em?