Male Cockroaches Are Particularly Flirtatious With Females
Think what you want about insects, but there is no denying that the creatures do not waste much time when it comes to passing on their genes. Insects are millions of years old and are therefore well adapted to their earthly habitats. Insects are biologically built to produce many offspring in a short amount of time. The manner in which insect species attempt to attract members of the opposite sex is just as diverse as insects themselves. However, insects and humans demonstrate some similar mating behaviors. For example, some male insects are not even given a chance to mate until they manage to impress females with a show of sexual fitness.
Male American cockroaches are forced to compete with other males for a chance to mate with the females. There is nothing strange about this, as all animals must compete for mates. But male cockroaches will attempt to impress females by nibbling on them with their mouth parts. Cockroaches will also rapidly flap their wings and expose their abdomens in order to impress members of the opposite sex.
Some forms of courtship are seemingly complicated. Silverfish demonstrate one of the more bizarre and elaborate forms of courtship. Silverfish indulge in a three step process in order to win the hearts of their potential mates. The first step involves antenna on antenna contact. The females then playfully chase males around until they eventually line up next to one another in order to signify consent and the completion of the ritual.
Male earwigs tend to be more clingy with their potential mates. Males will use their cerci (pincers) to attach themselves to a female’s back. This mating position is maintained for several hours while females continue to move about. Female termites release mating pheromones in order to attract certain males. Once male termites find their female mates, the males will enthusiastically shed their wings in order to signify that their life partners have been found. The loss of wings brings an end to a termite’s search for a female mate. Termites are one of the few types of insects to maintain monogamous relationships in normal cases.
Do you think that too many people assume that insect mating involves the killing of the male by the female? Is this mating habit overstated?