Insect ABC's

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Male Sagebrush Crickets possess an odd physical characteristic to assist in reproduction, a set of claws on their backs like a gin trap. Female Sagebrush crickets prefer to mate with virgin males. They mount the male by moving onto his back. In this position she can easily chew the male’s smaller hind wings and lap up the blood. After mating the male’s wings look mangled, a clear indication to female crickets that he is no longer a virgin and thus, undesirable. However, male sagebrush crickets are equipped with a set of toothy claws on their backs to assist them in mating more than once. When the female climbs on the male’s back to inspect his hind wings, the male is able to clasp the female in place with his back claws and forcibly mate with her.Source: Scott. K. Sakaluk 1991 Sex for a song (dinner included).

Photo Courtesy of: Scott Sakaluk