Jan. 7 - Researchers in Canada are studying insect mating rituals. In particular, they hope to better understand why some female bug species - like the Great Grig - eat their male partners during sex. Ben Gruber reports.
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STORY: This pair of great grigs are having sex - great for the female but not so great for her male partner. In fact , he may not live through it.
The female grig, on top, is eating her mate's wings and feasting on his blood despite his best efforts to impregnate her. And the male is a glutton for punishment. He won't be deterred by the loss of body parts and continues to deploy the hook-like organ protruding from his abdomen to keep his partner in place until the process is finished.
The researchers are studying the grigs' mating behaviour to learn how such cannibalistic tendencies evolved in the species.
The only good news for the male is that if he lives through the ordeal, he'll be without wings for the rest of his life…a real turnoff for females.