Mating can be a very interesting and dangerous affair for many insects. Indeed, insect courtships are some of the most amazing courtship rituals in the animal kingdom. Some insects, like the praying mantis for instance, must pre-occupy his mate with gifts of live-insect prey lest she turn her head around 180 degrees and devour him while mating! Others, like the bedbug infect their females with their sperm by means of a long stinger like appendange. Should she survive the mating attempt, her eggs would then be fertillized. In that way one can usually tell how many times a female bedbug has had a succesful brood by counting the number of scars on her back. However arguably, some of the most amazing insect mating rituals are found in the species that fly!
|Cairns Birdwing (Ornithoptera eupharion) in mating flight.|
|Heliconia sp. mating dance|
|Zebra Longwings (Heliconius charitonius) swarming around female chrysalis as she is about to emerge.|
|Rice paper butterfly (Idea Leuconoe) male presenting pheremones package to his intended.|
L, is for the way you look at me.