Bug SexBroken genitals and cannibalism. Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of how bugs get busy NOW STREAMING ON CBC GEM
If fruit flies can’t get laid, they get drunk. Male black widow spiders offer themselves up to females as a complimentary post-coital meal. Female dance flies reverse roles to put on a show in an effort to attract males.
Bugs are the most numerous, diverse and important group of animals on the planet. There are ten quintillion of them on earth, and they all need to have sex for their genes to pass to the next generation. Bug Sex, a documentary from The Nature of Things, takes us into the bizarre world of how bugs get busy.
There’s intense competition before, during and after the act has taken place. There are females that can store sperm for months before deciding whether or not to use it. And there are males that will break off their member after copulating to prevent a female from mating with another male after him.
In the animal kingdom, it’s typically the male that makes the first move. But a new generation of female biologists have discovered that in some bugs, the roles are reversed. In Uruguay, we’ll see female Allocosa spiders who visit the males’ sandy burrows, looking for sex. In Ontario, female dance flies put on an aerial pageant trying to attract a male audience.
“One of my favourite moments in science,” says Dr. Anita Aisenberg from the Clemente Estable Research Centre, “is when you think you really understand something, really you don’t understand anything.”
“Sex in bugs is fascinating, gruesome, counterintuitive,” says Dr. Maydianne Andrade, professor at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. “And most people know nothing about it.”
But it doesn’t have to stay that way! Bug Sex is a must-watch trip into a tiny, bizarre world of copulation.