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There are two ways for animals to make sure their genes survive. Both methods promote procreation of their species. The first method is having a few offspring and taking care of them carefully. The second method is having many (literally hundreds or thousands) of offspring to increase the probability of survivability. Insects tend to fall in the second method. Insects tend to lay many eggs. Not all of the eggs hatch and not all of the larvae survive to become adults. That is the facts of life in the insect world.

Use portable field microscopes to investigate the type of animals that uses the first and second method. Portable field microscopes make it easier for the microscopist or hobbyist to pursue their search for specimens because they are handy.

Bizarre Insect Mating Behavior

In humans, there are more women than men. The opposite is true among insects. Aside from an extremely choosy female insect, male insects have a difficult time in competing with the other male insects. The mating behavior for different insect species is sometimes bizarre. Because of intense competition, male insects have to have a variety of mating tactics, strategies, and morphologies in attracting a female insect. Examples of these strategies are the following:

  • Territorial defense and dispute
  • Sperm plugs and chastity belts
  • Copulation is prolonged (ranges from several days to weeks)
  • Sexual role reversal
  • Pheromones or perfumes that male and female insects wear
  • Hypodermic insemination, and
  • Battles to death
Use portable field microscopes to discover the different male morphologies of different insect species and their specific mating behavior.

Courtship ritual

There is a diverse mating ritual among the different insect species. Each insect species have their own unique courtship or mating rituals. There is a lot of precise and routine insect courting ritual. Some insect species have special dance patterns. They may move in circles, flutter their wings, or take short flights to and fro the female. Males would often stroke the female insect they are courting with their antennae or legs.

Mating

Most Insects mate by having the male insert their organs into the female genital tract to release the sperm. The eggs and the sperm will then be fertilized internally. You can further study the eggs and sperms of insects with the use of a microscope.

Some insects do not mate in the above-mentioned method. Male bedbugs penetrate the body cavity of the female bedbug with their penis to deposit their sperm. The order Collembola where springtails belong are have their own method. Spermatophores are produced by the male springtails and are then placed in a circle surrounding the female springtail. A courtship dance is then performed by the male to persuade the female to cross the circle of spermatophores. When the female crosses the circle, one droplet will be grasped by her genital opening leading to fertilization. The southern states "love bugs" mate through their wings. Love bugs, in actuality are flies. They belong to the insect order Odonata, the same as damselflies and dragonflies.

Post-mating behavior

Some male insects are in danger after they mate with the female. One famous example is the praying mantis. The female praying mantis eats her partner even while mating. The headless (the head part is eaten first), however, continues to mate the female praying mantis.

 
 
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