50 Shades Of Wrong: Disturbing Insect Mating Rituals

Posted by Sughra Hafeez in Science and Technology On 30th January 2018

Here are the top picks for distressing shocking ghastly interesting sexual practices of insects.


Wasp spiders

Male wasp spiders are under pressure to mate with females quickly. Researchers noted that if they take more than 10 seconds, then they get eaten by the females. What’s even more disturbing is that male spiders are able to stick to the 10-second rule when they mate with their sisters. However, when these male spiders mate with non-related females, they tend to take their time, so they end up dead



Researchers were initially baffled by a second penis in some earwig species; it points the wrong way, and females only have one vaginal opening. Was it just an evolutionary left over? No, the second penis is a spare in case the first one breaks off.

In fact, both are "breakaway" penises, designed to snap off in case of an emergency. This becomes even more cringe-inducing when you discover that each earwig penis is about the length of their entire body. In laboratory schlong-snapping experiments, researchers discovered "left-handed" earwigs were still able to mate successfully.



In honeybee populations, males are a dime a dozen. Thousands vie for a shot to be with a virgin queen, but only a lucky few succeed. For every mating flight a queen bee embarks upon, she has sex with an average of 12 drones. Males take turns mounting the queen during her flight, and each one can mate seven to 10 times. The queen stores the semen from every midair tryst for the rest of her life, using only a few sperm at a time to fertilize her eggs. When the drone finally pulls away, his barbed penis and abdominal tissues are ripped from his body. He dies shortly thereafter — what a buzz kill.


These bugs have a rather brutal mating ritual. The genitalia of males have been described as “sword-like.” They deposit their seed directly into the female’s abdominal opening.

The males’ organs also have chemoreceptors that are able to detect if the female has been mating with another male. When male bedbugs detect that the female has been active with other males, they deposit less of their seed into her.

For their part, female bedbugs have reproductive organ called the spermalege, a sponge-like opening that’s suited for the rough insemination.



Drosophila, the little flies of kitchens and biology labs, have remarkably odd sex lives. The males in this species produce giant sperm that is 2.3 inches long (5.8 cm). Each individual sperm cell is 20 times longer than the fly itself. The sperm arrives in the female like a giant ball of twine and has to slowly unwind before the sperm cell can fuse to form an embryo. The gigantic sperm tail is eventually discarded. It seems this is yet another way to plug up the female and slow her from mating again.

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