Copulating pair of Taeniaptera trivittata, a type of still-legged fly (Micropezidae). Males (or females, according to one source) apparently brush the eyes of the partner during mating, though this frame didn’t capture that. When flitting around leaves they wave their white-tipped forelegs and look just like small ichneumon wasps. They have thin waists but the pattern on their wings makes them look even thinner, waspier. Known to feed on rotting Typha, which was abundant nearby (John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, Tinicum, PA).
If you come across a pair, please take a video so I can see the legs in action. I like to watch, and I know of others who are interested in this species.
Huge thanks to John S. Ascher and John F. Carr on Bugguide.net for help identifying them.
Posted in Biology, Photography, Science
Tagged ant mimic, copulating, diptera, entomology, flies, fly, ichneumon, ichneumonid, insect, mating, Micropezidae, mimic, mimicry, still-leg flies, stilt-legged flies, Taeniaptera trivittata, thin-waisted, wasp mimic
Mating pairs of red milkweed beetles (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) are not rare (they can couple for hours at a time), but I thought this couple looked cute, in a worried sort of way. The half-lidded expression is because their compound eyes are bisected by their antennae. Beautiful beetles.
Posted in Biology, Education, Photography
Tagged antennae, aposematic, Asclepias, Asclepias syriaca, beetle, black spots, cerambycidae, coleoptera, compound eyes, copulating, copulation, female, Hildacy Farms, insect, male, mating, media, natural lands trust, pennsylvania, red, red milkweed beetle, Tetraopes tetrophthalmus
On a warm, moist day in Fall, hundreds of worms found love in a nearby field. Here are three of the happy couples:
Posted in Biology, Education, Gardening, Photography, Science
Tagged clitellum, cocoon, copulating, copulation, earthworms, egg, female, genital pores, grass, hermaphrodite, male, mating, megadrile, mist, moist, rain, reproduction, sex, sperm, wet
Mating robber flies (Promachus princeps, I think) on rabbitbush. Female is holding some type of cerambycid (perhaps Crossidius hirtipes), which she probably caught prior to the male approaching. I don’t think it was a nuptial gift from male (though that was my first thought). Female robber flies have been observed eating males, which are smaller, so waiting for a female with a meal is a good strategy for males who want to love and then live some more. Female robber flies with meals in hand are also less likely to resist mating attempts. Madras, Oregon.
Posted in Biology, Education, Food, Photography, Science
Tagged Asilidae, copulating, Crooked River, diptera, Ericameria nauseosa, fly, gray rabbitbrush, insect, Insecta, Madras, mating, Oregon, Promachus princeps, robber fly