108/150: Dead moose, buffet, fighting arena, or dance floor? For waltzing flies, it’s all the above


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Diptera: Piophilidae: Piophilinae: Prochyliza: Prochyliza xanthostoma (Walker, 1849)

This North American fly occurs in forests, aggregating around moose carcasses as they are carrion feeders. Females will wait on vegetation surrounding a carcass and watch males combat on the carcass. The flies are sexually dimorphic and males have larger antennae, head capsules, and foretarsi for competing in combat. Continue reading “108/150: Dead moose, buffet, fighting arena, or dance floor? For waltzing flies, it’s all the above”

18/150: A fungus beetle known for using its head


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Bolitotherus: Bolitotherus cornutus (Panzer, 1794)

Male Bolitotherus cornutus, commonly known as the Forked Fungus beetle, have fork-like horns in which they use to compete for mates. Those with bigger horns have better success at prying rivals off of their prized females. Continue reading “18/150: A fungus beetle known for using its head”

17/150: Whooping cranes – till death do them part!


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Animalia: Chordata: Aves: Gruiformes: Gruidae: Grus: Grus americana (Linnaeus, 1758)

Whooping cranes (Grus americana) come by their name honestly; they were given the moniker thanks to their loud trumpet-like calls which can be heard from several kilometers away! They use these calls for a variety of reasons and one of the most important is to attract the opposite sex in courtship displays. Continue reading “17/150: Whooping cranes – till death do them part!”

16/150: What’s your mating strategy?


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Collembola: Symphypleona: Sminthuridae: Allacma: Allacma fusca (Linnaeus, 1758)

Allacma fusca is a species of globular springtail (Collembola) originally found in western continental Europe and the British Isles. Most globular springtails have a unique and rather strange mating ritual compared to their plump springtail and slender springtail relatives. Continue reading “16/150: What’s your mating strategy?”