A Love Story

Once upon a time, Sir Husband wanted to please his wife, so he brings her two bugs mating.  Such love.

These were no ordinary bugs.  These were True Bugs.  What are  True Bugs?  So glad you asked.

  • Hemiptera – Half of the first pair of wings are harden, while the rest are membranous.
  • Modified sucking and piercing jointed mouths.
  • They suck plant juice or bug juice.
  • Most fly, but some are aquatic

This lovely pair are Wheel Bugs.

Male and Female Wheel Bug

The small one on the top is the male.  They are called Wheel Bugs because of the spiny ridge on the thorax.  This is the only insect species in the U.S. that has this crest.

You can see the spiny ridge here.

They were like this for several days.  We couldn’t figure out why they were mating for so long.  I couldn’t find any information on how long they actually mate.   After searching for a while, I found out that they are not mating.  They are courting.

One day at 7:00am, I spotted them, uh…no longer courting.  They were actually mating.  Yes, I took photos.  There is no privacy in this house for bugs.  Sorry.

Top View

The male must shift to the side to mate with his lady.  Your children may want to leave the room for this next photo.

Bottom View

Told you there was no privacy in this house for bugs.   At 10:00am, they were still mating.  I have no idea how long it took, because I had to leave the house.  The next morning, they were at it again and it lasted at least three hours.

After that, the lady no longer wanted anything to do with the male.  They separated.  I watched for another day or two, to see if she would kill the male.  All the information I found said she would.  One day I found she had pinned down the male.  She never did impale him, though.

Pinned down. Say UNCLE!

After another day, I felt sorry for the poor male and threw in a moth.  The two Wheel Bugs immediately separated.  It took a little while, but the female got the moth.  The male is safe…for now.

Mmm, slurp...yummy!

The male never got any food.  Poor thing.

If this female was left outside, she would lay 40 to 200 little eggs, that would hatch next spring.

Wheel Bugs are useful for gardens since they are assassin bugs that kill other pests.  If they are provoked, they will bite and their bite is worse than a bee sting.

These two love bugs *snicker*, will be given to one of my Biology students as a prize. The student can pin them to their insect board for a classification project.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Insecta
Order Hemiptera
Suborder Heteroptera
Family Reduviidae
Subfamily Harpactorinae
Genus Arilus
Species cristatus

For more information go here:
Love is never having to say, “I’m sorry I got you trapped in this jar.”
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10 responses to “A Love Story

  1. Oh my goodness!!! You will never cease to amaze me with the things that I learn on your blog. Those photos are amazing. That bottom view of the mating process will be forever etched in my memory…I think that I should have left the room! I can just imagine the things that go on at your house on a daily basis.

  2. yuck. I can’t help but feel sorry for the poor bug.

  3. It scares me that you find these in your yard. Because that is practically in MY backyard too…and I don’t want to know that such things exist. Is it bad that *I’m* teaching biology to those girls??? Maybe I’ll just send them to your blog. 😀

  4. DUDE!
    I just….that’s just….I mean….
    Wow.

    Plus also, I want to be you when I grow up.

    PS – those bugs are creepy looking.

  5. Dems some UGLY bugs, Applie!! They look so pre-historic! I’ve never seen them here…thankfully! Oh…and I agree with Deb! DUDE! lol

  6. Cool post! All that work of mating, and then they get to be pinned to a board. Aren’t they lucky?

  7. I never know what I’m going to find on your blog! Decapitated sharks, buggy love, what’s next??? Anemone has something that looks kind of similar pinned on her bug board, but I don’t remember what it is and I’m not going to go look at it.

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