Did you know that many of our insect friends also have rituals of their own in hopes of luring in a mate this Valentine’s Day?
In honor of Valentines Day, here are a few unique, bizarre, and downright cool mating rituals of five different bugs or arachnids:
“Peacocking” Peacock Spiders
Okay before you jump all over me, I know spiders aren’t bugs; they’re arachnids. Despite this classification, Peacock Spiders perform one of the most elaborate and downright cool mating rituals I have ever seem in the insect/arachnid world.
When a Peacock Spider is attempting to find a mate, the male spider will jump and dance around to try and impress a female Peacock Spider. He will lift his legs high in the air and bring them down slowly. He will spread himself wide, flatten himself down, and then pop right back up with his back legs raised in the air. This dance, or “peacocking” as it’s sometimes called, is how the Peacock Spider gets its name.
Female Peacock Spiders will watch carefully to see if the dancing spider is a good enough mate. When the male spider is ready to make his move he will approach carefully; quickly waving his back legs back and forth in the air. He then lifts a brightly colored flap up into the air, mimicking a peacock.
See the mating ritual for yourself:
Beheading Praying Mantises
This Valentines Day, you’ll likely treat your mate to a romantic dinner. When it comes to praying mantises, a romantic dinner means something completely different.
A female praying mantis will seductively lure in a male praying mantis with her powerful pheromones. As a male praying
mantis approaches, he’ll do so as he performs a courtship dance. If the female mantis deems him worthy, she’ll allow him to commence mating. While the act is being performed, it’s pretty common for the female praying mantis to turn around and chew of the head of her mate. She’s a cannibal!
This act of cannibalism is not without purpose. Researchers have found that the male mantis appears to thrust more vigorously without his head attached to his body; which increases the success of copulation.
Dancing Fruit Flies
This Valentines Day, nothing would make that special someone of yours more happy, than taking him or her out dancing. Several species of fruit fly have also discovered this little secret, as they will dance with their mate before they get busy. With their brightly colored wings and bodies, these species of fruit fly will actually dance mid-air. It’s quite the spectacle! Fruit flies will also dance at any invader; to intimidate and scare away the threat.
Smooching Kissing Bugs
When I refer to a kissing bug, I’m not referring to some “bug” or illness you catch from kissing; so kiss away this Valentines Day! I’m referring to an insect that gives you kisses while you sleep at night… And not the type of kisses you want. Kissing bugs have a tendency to bite the faces and lips of humans while we sleep, which can cause severe allergic reactions.
This blood meal is necessary for male kissing bugs to mate and for the female kissing bug to lay eggs.
If you play your cards right this Valentines Day, you may be swapping spit with your significant other. Swapping spit is also common among scorpion flies, as male scorpion flies leave soggy presents for female scorpion flies before mating.
Female scorpion flies choose their mates based the saliva-secretion ability of her suitor. Basically, they are wooed by spit! The male scorpion fly will spit up a nutritious gift for his sweetheart. This spit draws in the female scorpion fly, and also keeps her from flying off in a fit of cold feet.
Once the female scorpion fly stops receiving soggy presents, she puts an end to the relations. The male scorpion fly will gather up the leftover spit and, like pawning off a half-eaten box of Valentine chocolates, reuse them to romance a new female.
Happy Valentines Day!
If you’re finding yourself having trouble finding a mate this Valentines Day, why not pull a page out of the insect’s book… Well, with the exception of the be-headings.
Have a Happy Valentines Day!