Scorpionfly eats meat

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    The scorpionfly made for a quite gruesome surprise in the cemetery - it was sitting on a fresh bone that was laying on top of a tombstone, and was taking its time to enjoy it.

    thekateblack, cerdsp, Andy Sunspeck, and 8 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Tuscan sun 85 months ago | reply

      Yikes! He doesn't look too happy with your presence. More life and death...

    2. Giant Ginkgo 85 months ago | reply

      Yeah, it was pretty darn creepy - I had never seen one before (nor had my Japanese girlfriend) and wasn't sure how vicious it actually was. I tried not to get too close to it!

    3. _infernauta 57 months ago | reply

      Actually this is known to be part of the mating ritual of the Mecoptera:
      the male offers food items to be eaten by the female during copulation.

      QUOTE: "The female is first attracted by a pheromone emitted by one or more vesicles or pouches at the end of the male's abdomen. When the female is near, the vesicles are retracted. The female examines the offering while the male searches for her genitalia with his own. If the gift is rejected, the female flies away. If the gift is accepted, the genitalia of the male couples with that of the female, who lowers herself until she is hanging upside down. She consumes the offering during copulation. The male supports the female by holding her legs or the prey. Field observations show that both sexes mate several times per day. Small or unacceptable offerings result in no or a very short copulation time. Duration depends on the size of the gift. It has been observed that prey 3 to 14 mm long will provide 1 to 17 minutes of copulation in Hylobittacus apicalis. Larger H. apicalis give prey the size of houseflies in return for 20 to 29 minutes of copulation."

      Judging by the size of that bone, the female should be the size of a greyhound, and they will copulate for (approx.) 3-4 days, resulting in maximum sperm transfer, and producing (approx.) 2500 - 2700 starved hatchlings.

    4. Giant Ginkgo 57 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the information, _infernauta! I had no idea that they had such a weird and entertaining mating ritual. You're right, that guy's gonna have a great time when he convince a female to visit. ;-)

    5. saimo_mx70 55 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Bugs of Japan 日本の虫, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    6. Jersey Bug 54 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Pretty Strange BUGS!, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

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