News Stories

The Terrible Sex Lives of Bugs

We've learned that, after sex, the female praying mantis bites the head off her mate and eats him. Now Philip Cohen writes in New Scientist magazine that in one species of orb-weaving spiders, sex means certain death, because the deceased male's corpse is trapped in the female's genitalia. Is sex worth it?

"I was stunned that his happened with every single male," says researcher Matthias Foellmer. "Spiders are known for their bizarre mating, but even so this was surprising."

Many female spiders are cannibals, eating their dates after they have sex with them. Some male spiders even commit suicide by jumping into the female's fangs. Foellmer thinks the orb-weaving spider male's corpse acts as a chastity belt, so his mate can't have sex with anyone else. But they try anyway?Foellmer says, "The other males go berserk, bite into the legs and try to pull him off."

The world is full of strange secrets?but why is the government keeping some of them secret?

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