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These facts about the mating rituals of garden-dwellers were gathered from Guests in Your Garden: Facts and Folklore About Bugs, Slugs, and Other Garden Creatures, written by Michele Davidson and illustrated by Eve Corbel, published by Arsenal Pulp Press in Spring 2001.
The object of his affection
The whine of the mosquito and the buzz of the cicada are love calls, made by males in their frenzy to attract females.
The nursery-web spider wraps a package in silk and presents it to his beloved. The gift may be a freshly killed bee, fly or beetle—or, if he’s tricky, a rock.
The male dragonfly can knock aside another male who is mating with the desired female, then scoop the competitor’s sperm out of her body and insert his own.
The male walking stick stays coupled with the female long after the sperm are inserted, to keep other males away from her. This is why walking sticks hold the known record for prolonged copulation—seventy-nine days.
On the other hand. . .
The queen honeybee can store sperm for several years.
The female mantid (praying mantis) eats her partner during copulation, but only if she is starving.
Aphids can produce all-female offspring. They are known to have brought forth ninety-four generations without the birth of a single male.