Insect ABC's

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In addition to dance as a facilitator in mating, flies and other insects exchange gifts with their prospective mates. In one species of Hilaria fly, the male presents the female with a tasty insect and proceeds to dance and move his wings in front of her until she agrees to mate. While in the time it takes her to feed on her gift, the male is allowed to have sex with her and inseminate the eggs. A second species of male Hilaria fly wraps the gift, extending the time it takes for the female to feed and the amount of time he has for sex.In the third species the male gives the female what appears to be a gift, as in species two, but in this case the male gives an empty package.Male scorpion flies routinely steal each other’s gifts to give to mates.Source: Insect behavior:Reversal of sex roles in nuptial feeding , By: Arnqvist, Goran; Jones, Theresa M.; Elgar, Mark A.. Nature, 7/24/2003, Vol. 424 Issue 6947, p387, 1p; (AN 10331984)

Photo Courtesy of: Jane Kavanagh Morton