Thursday, December 21, 2006

Seven moths a-mating

I'm reading: Seven moths a-matingTweet this!

We all know birds do it and so do bees. I saw bears do it at the zoo when I was about 10 and the summer I spent as a dolphin trainer I witnessed more cetacean sex than I needed to, but, wow, moths. Whoa. I never even dared to imagine (or should I say fantasize?) the mechanics of moth reproduction.

It just doesn't get more boring than these moths. The male is attracted to the female and finds her due to the powerful pheromones she gives off, but let's face it, how hard could it be to find each other in the 4 X 4-inch box that is their home?

So they meet, they connect and, no really, they connect. They look like conjoined twins attached at their nether-regions. DH took some pictures, but I can't get comfortable with sex pictures from our bedroom posted on the Internet, even if they only feature tiny insects.

I noticed around 7:00 PM that we had our first mating pair and when I checked again the next morning, they were still going at it. Of course by going at it I mean only that they were still coupled. The occasional fluttering of wings assured me they were still alive.

One of six year-old Splinter's stated goals for the school science fair was to "see the moths mate." (He came up with that on his own; I'm not sure what he expected.) So I called him over to take a look and he left the room, unimpressed, about 20 seconds later.

The moths' sole purpose is to mate in order to propagate the species. They are not equipped to eat or drink during this phase of life, so clearly their energy is limited. They gotta take it slow. They will only live a few days, so why not spend most of their time mating? What else have they got to do? I mean, they can't even fly.

It looks like I'll be a silkworm granny any day now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim,
My 5 y/o and I had an hour-long discussion about this the other day, but it was various kinds of spiders, not moths. The mechanics ARE fascinating... LOL.