Caught in The Act: Love and Lunch

Do you follow @tiwane’s awesome social media posts for iNaturalist? If not, you’re missing out! Check out today’s post:

Love and Lunch in the Damselfly World (Observation by Cumali Yeşil in Türkiye):

@tiwane wrote:

"iNat user cumaliyesil photographed quite a scene in Turkey:

A female Goblet-marked Damselfly (Erythromma lindenii) with the abdomen of a male still attached to her body — it’s our Observation of the Day!

When mating, the male damselfly will use claspers at the rear of his abdomen to hold the female behind the head, and she bends her abdomen around to pick up a sperm packet from his body.

In some instances, the male will continue to hold onto her when she oviposits (lays eggs). In this case, the male was perhaps predated on, but only his thorax and head were taken, leaving his abdomen attached to the female.



Wow. I don’t know whether to mark this observation as a “favorite” or whether I never, ever want to see it again.


Wendy, it kinda reminds me of spider sex, where the male’s “penis” breaks off inside the female:

Spider’s Detachable Penis Finishes Without Him: “They (like most men reading this) couldn’t think of a way that having a break-off penis could be a good thing.”

Except in this case, it’s not the male doing it on purpose. It’s the male getting eaten while “doing his thing”, and then only his penis remains! :scream_cat: :joy:



Fernando (@fmiudo), thank you for referencing that Futurama clip. I watched it, but I won’t link to it, as I don’t want to get flagged! :wink:

For anyone who wants to search the clip, the characters are named Zapp and Fry :wink:

The clip is somewhat relevant to the discussion of arthropod reproduction, above :wink: