Thursday, April 28, 2011

insect mating

It is autumn in Melbourne. The days are getting shorter, the mornings frostier, but the weather has been glorious for cycling. It is also Preying Mantis mating season. I narrowly avoided one on the road this morning, bright green against the bitumen. The second I saw this afternoon as I left work had not been so lucky. It was squashed flat by a bicycle tyre before my arrival. If it was a female it might not yet have mated or laid its eggs. If it was male, it could not yet have mated or it would already have lost its head! (It hadn't.) It was probably too big to have been a male anyway.

Funny how sometimes I really need to look hard to notice the insects on my daily activities. This is true even when they scream at me from the trees (summer cicadas) or the grass (autumn crickets). At other times they are hard to avoid... such as last spring when dozens of pairs of mating ants fell from the sky to copulate un-ceremoniously on our deck table whilst I read emails!

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