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Moths Get a Date by Mimicking Bats

June 1st, 2016

There are some pretty strange mating habits in the insect world. Some of them are downright reminiscent of the kind of foreplay a serial killer would be into. Well, you can now add moths to those kinky sex freaks. Rather than buy a girl some flower and a box of chocolates like a normal guy, male moths basically choose to mimic the plotline from a bad slasher flick when attempting to woo a female.

When a male moth goes looking for a girl to go on a “date” with, he begins making the same squeaking sound that bats, the moth’s natural predator, make when they are hunting. Female moths freeze like a deer in front of headlights when they hear this sound in the hopes that the “bat” doesn’t detect them nearby. However, they soon find out that what they thought was a bat, is actually a male moth out looking for a hot date. This wicked trickster has a much easier time getting the female to then mate with him in her frozen state.

Scientists found that using this deceptive seduction technique, the male moths almost always successfully mated. Whereas, when they didn’t mimic the sound of the hunting bat, they were only successful half of the time. How romantic…

What other insect mating habits do you know of? Why do you think female moths play so hard to get?

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