The Art of Grabbing Mates


Suckers on Prothoracic Tarsus of Male Diving Beetle
Image: Igor Siwanowicz

Fifth place in the 2016 Nikon Small World Photomicrography contest goes to Igor Siwanowicz for this stunning image of the suckers on the tarsi of a male diving beetle (Dytiscidae). Male diving beetles are known to latch onto female beetles as a form of mate guarding. The males also eat some of the food captured by the female beetles. This aspect of the relationship is parasitic and females can benefit by dislodging the male. The cuticle of female beetles has adaptations to resist adhesion by males. This has led males to add multiple means of attachment to females. This is evident from the stunning diversity of the suckers.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in Art, behavior, by jjneal. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Art of Grabbing Mates

  1. Pingback: The Art of Grabbing Mates – Entomo Planet

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