Til Death Do Us Part

Weird and Unusual Love Tactics from the Insect World and Animal Kingdom

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, leading us to ask the question, how do insects and animals mate and show affection? Most people know that the female black widow spider kills her mate after courtship. But, what about the rest of the insect world? 

Below, you’ll find 10 fun facts we dug up about love. Wild style! 

  1. Did you know, females can be ferocious! Not only do black widows kill their male counterpart, but so does the praying mantis. 
A Praying mantis on a pink flower
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
  1. Prairie voles are among a rare 3% of animals that mate for life. The male voles help raise the young. In addition, scientists has found that voles will grieve at the passing of their partner. 
  1. Some snails “love spray” each other. Snails have male and female reproductive parts. Because of this, both snails shoot each other with spiky love darts in an attempt to fertilize the eggs of their partner.
Snails shooting each other with their love darts. A rather weird and unusual love tactic if we say so ourselves
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
  1. Researchers in Denmark believe male nursery spiders bring a gift to the female before mating to avoid becoming dinner themselves. 
  1. Male bed bugs stab females in the abdomen with his genitals in an attempt to inseminate her. Ouch! 
  1. Squirrels play hard to get. In fact, male squirrels chase each other and fight to see who wins the right to mate. Afterwards, the female chases the winning male. If he can keep up with her, he wins the right to mate!
Squirrels chase each other to find the love of their life
Photo credit: Shutterstock
  1. A female spider can lay over 200 eggs at a time. For example, the common “house” spider averages 250 eggs per sac. In addition, during her life, she may lay as many as 17 sacs, totaling over 4,000 offspring!
  1. Garter snakes mate in a large group. Once the snakes wake from hibernation, the female emits a pheromone. Then, male snakes rush to her and create a “ball” as the males try to get into the correct mating position. 
A snake ball, an unusual mating and love  tactic among the slithery
Photo credit: Shutterstock
  1. Some variations of female porcupines are only available for courting 8-12 hours a YEAR! To court her, the male urinates on her. If she likes the smell, they have a very busy 8-12 hours. 
  1.  Love is in the air! Nope, that is just female skunks refusing to mate with a male. Skunk mating season begins right around Valentine’s Day. As a result, you may expect some unpleasant fragrance in your back yard this month.

There you have it, 10 weird and unusual love tactics from the insect world. Be sure to check back next month for more things you may not know about the bug-eat-bug world.

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