Flora and fauna of the Athens County area, and occasionally habitats outside Ohio. Subject matter will consist of both interpretive material and taxonomic issues in plant and animal identification.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bees Bee and Bears Bear

The ultimate goal, perpetuate the species. Throughout the summer and fall insects are busy mating. While there are several ways to mate, tail to tail is the preferred method of most. This is a pair of Large Milkweed Bugs.

Here are a pair of Eastern Tailed Blues and Pearl Crescents.

A pair of bee mimics of the Syrphid Fly family. In many insects, the female is the larger of the two.

This pair of Buckeye butterflies were interrupted by a peeping tom.
Apparently someone didn't get the memo that three's a crowd.

Mating moths from the Choleophoridae family. Choleophorids are micro moths that can be recognized by the always forward pointing antennae.

You want sex? Buy me dinner first. Looking like a four-winged crane fly, Hangingflies are related to Scorpionflies. Their mating behavior involves the male capturing smaller insects and presenting them to a female. If she approves of the meal, she will take it and let him mate.

If the meal is too small, she will finish it and kick the male off before he's done. If the gift is rather large, after mating the male will take the meal away from her and present it once again to another female.

You call this mating? Perhaps the most interesting reproductive behavior is exhibited by the dragonflies and damselflies. These are Stream Bluets, the male up top is holding on to the female by digging his claspers in behind her head.

Males protect their investment by holding on to females until she has laid her eggs. Notice the difference between the sexes in these damselfly species. When females are flying alone, you almost always have to have them in hand to make proper identifications. This is a pair of Violet Dancers.

Dragonflies, like damselflies also fly united in heart shaped or pretzel shaped formations. Males have a sperm sac that they store in the upper abdomen, allowing him to grasp the female. She then reaches up and takes the sperm from him. When capturing females, you can tell if she has mated as there will be clasper marks on the back of her head.This is a pair of Ruby Meadowhawks. (A Lisa Sells photo)

1 comment:

  1. Nice post!! I especially like the Choleophoridae moths!