Inside the Bedroom of Parasitic Wasps
When most of us think about parasitic wasps we think of their practice of using unsuspecting insects as hosts and a convenient meal for their offspring. But, what takes place before these creatures lay their eggs. It’s time to go inside the boudoir of the parasitic insect to see the sexier side of these creatures.
Female wasps go crazy for high-frequency wing fanning. When parasitic wasps mate the female wasp sends out pheromones to attract male wasps. The males then approach the females and fan their wings as fast as they possibly can, and the wasp that fans the fastest gets the girl. It kind of reminds me of a male showing off his dance moves to imply he’s also got great moves in bed.
These wasps also seem to prefer the dewy glow of morning as their backdrop to their love games. Males appear to be more successful at securing a mate in the morning, and researchers found that the males attempt more wing-fanning displays in the morning.
The male parasitic wasps don’t end their love games when they get older either…but they do get a little confused as to what sex they choose to go after. The older male parasitic wasps have a difficult time differentiating between the sex pheromones of a male wasp from that of a female, so they roll the dice and try for both in the hopes that they get lucky and land a female. I’m curious as to whether the younger wasps make fun of this practice, rolling their eyes whenever old Jerry goes after one of the young males by accident.
What do you think of the sex lives of parasitic wasps? Can you find any resemblance to human mating habits?