mating insects


Each type of insect has their own mating ritual that is quite different from the human species.  Here are a few of the less than romantic, quirky, and sometimes fatal ways certain pests woo their mates, proving that ‘love’ doesn’t need to cost a thing.

Just be glad you’re not an insect – a lot of insect rituals may seem more than a little weird to us however insects have evolved into skilled breeders, they are wired to procreate quickly and produce large quantities of off spring.

Here’s a look at three common pest personalities and how far some species will go to attract the perfect mate:

First there is the “flirtatious” type - Male American cockroaches have to impress their female sweetheart before they can mate. The stud–like male-cockroaches flap their wings, expose their abdomens and even nibble the female. 

Silverfish court each other through an elaborate three-step process that includes repeatedly touching the antennae of the intended mate, chasing the male as he playfully runs away, then lining up side by side to signify consent and complete the ritual.

Second there is the “clingy” type - Male earwigs find their mates by the use of their sense of smell. Once the male is coupled with a female, the male uses their long cerci, which look like pincers, on their backsides to attach himself to her. Undisturbed, the earwigs can stay in this mating position for hours.

Female termites release "mating pheromones" that act as a perfume to lure male termites. Once the males locate the female termites, they will break off their wings, symbolizing that they are a couple and in some cases this romance is for life.

The Third type is the “let’s just get down to business”.  The fire ant queen can live for up to seven years, however the drones (male ants), aren't so fortunate. Their only role in the colony is to mate with the queen and they die soon after doing so. When the queen needs males, she can overwhelm the colony with male eggs. The female workers kill many of the males, but they can’t get rid of them all.

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