Copulating robber flies, with snack

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.

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; copulating-robber-flies

About Colin Purrington

evolutionary biologist, photographer
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