Biologists from Simon Fraser University have discovered that a species of fast-flying male wasp uses smooth moves to build harems of female lovers; the discovery was made when high speed cameras were used to monitor the behaviour of the tiny parasitic wasps, Ooencyrtus kuvanae.

This species of parasitic wasp grows to about 2mm in length, and lays eggs inside the eggs of the gypsy moth. This moth was introduced into North Amercia from in the early 20th century as a biological control agent for the moths, an invasive species harmful to hardwood trees.

Kelly Ablard the head researcher said “the female wasps emerge from their eggs sexually mature and looking for love. Lusty little buzzers are at the ready. Female wasps mate just once in their four- to six-week lifetimes, and so it is that the wasps’ mating ritual bares a striking resemblance to a nightclub at midnight.

Females of this species only mate once and they mate when they emerge… and the males at this point only really have one opportunity to get a female and mate with her,”

The male species actually hatches from the egg a day before the female, and as he does, he basically just sits and waits.

Kelly Ablard also stated that “certain males in a competitive setting will adopt a type of mating strategy, a mating tactic, that allows them to basically collect, gather and guard a harem of females, which is highly unusual for insects, or invertebrates for that matter.

The male species marks the females with a chemical substance so he can find them later for a few romantic seconds, and deterring other, slower, lovesick suitors.

That female waits for him to come back and mate her later. In the meantime, he runs around and he tags a whole bunch of other females for this harem”

Kelly Albard mentions that some males do mate ‘em as they meet ‘em, but the quicker, more agile males mate with multiple females.

Who would have thought that within the insect world females would perceive and classify well conditioned males as higher quality!

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