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Some Male Insects Are Picky About Which Female Gets To Eat Them | Pest Control Tucson

Some Male Insects Are Picky About Which Female Gets To Eat Them | Pest Control Tucson

For many spiders and insects, it is the norm for the females to eat the males after mating. And males are often well aware that they are going to die, but sacrificing themselves in the name of procreation seems to be the harsh reality for many male spiders and insects. Since males are aware that they will be eaten after mating, then how do males choose which female gets to eat them? Well, the answer is complicated.

The fact that many female spider and insect species eat their male counterparts after mating is called “sexual cannibalism,” which seems like a fitting term for this phenomenon. It turns out that males praying mantises are aware of how hungry their female counterparts are at all times. This ability allows male mantises to avoid females that are hungry, and therefore far more likely to eat the male.

Spiders, on the other hand, are different from praying mantises. Female orb weavers, for example, are much larger than male orb weavers, and the females almost always eat the males. However, the male spiders are only given two chances to reproduce with a female before its reproductive organs become permanently detached. Once the male is left without any means of sexual reproduction, it willingly sacrifices itself to the female. The female orb weaver does not waste any time devouring the males.

So why do female bugs eat males after mating? Scientists think that female spiders and mantises will sometimes eat the males of their species simply because these animals are highly predatory and killing is simply in their nature. Other predatory animals show similar behavior by eating their mates or relatives. Being aggressive and predatory is also a valuable trait that would not disappear from the population.

Have you ever witnessed a house spider eating another house spider?