Panorpa vulgaris copula
A somewhat older image showing a copula with the following details:
- the female (on the right) is chewing away a dead insect provided to her as a "nuptial gift"
- meantime the male (on the left) is producing a blob of salival mass to give to her when she is done eating the initial nuptial gift, so the copula may be continued.
The image below shows another tactic of the male: Clamping the wing of the female with his notal organ so she can't get away:
This image was used in the following publications:
Sara Lewis & Adam South (2012) The Evolution of Animal Nuptial Gifts
Lewis, Sara & South, Adam & Burns, Robert & Al-Wathiqui, Nooria. (2011). Nuptial gifts. Current biology : CB. 21. R644-5.
Panorpa vulgaris is a very common species of Scorpionfly in Northwest Europe. For a long time it was taken to be a synonym of Panorpa communis, but in the 70's of the last century it was demonstrated that the two are reproductivly isolated. Panorpa vulgaris is the most thermophile of the northern European Scorpionsflies and can more readily be found in open sunny meadows whereas the others prefer more shaded environments.