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Panorpa vulgaris in copula - notal organ and salival mass nuptial gift Image of a copula of Panorpa vulgaris showing some interesting details:<br />
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Circle: The male is clamping the fore wing of the female with his notal organ. This prevents her from breaking up the copula (she would damage her wing!)<br />
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White blob: Male Scorpionflies will provide a female with a nuptial gift in the form of some dead insect for her to consume during copula. In order to make the copula last longer the male can also produce blobs of salival mass during copula and offer these to her when the dead insect is finished. In this image I had disturbed the lovers a tad so they had turned around, hence the salival mass is now behind them, but normally would be in front of the female ready for her to consume.<br />
 Copulation,Meadow Scorpionfly,Mecoptera,Panorpa,Panorpa ID help,Panorpa vulgaris,Panorpidae,Scorpionfly,nuptial gift Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Panorpa vulgaris in copula - notal organ and salival mass nuptial gift

Image of a copula of Panorpa vulgaris showing some interesting details:

Circle: The male is clamping the fore wing of the female with his notal organ. This prevents her from breaking up the copula (she would damage her wing!)

White blob: Male Scorpionflies will provide a female with a nuptial gift in the form of some dead insect for her to consume during copula. In order to make the copula last longer the male can also produce blobs of salival mass during copula and offer these to her when the dead insect is finished. In this image I had disturbed the lovers a tad so they had turned around, hence the salival mass is now behind them, but normally would be in front of the female ready for her to consume.

    comments (7)

  1. The white blob of saliva is the best. So cool.

    Awesome pic as usual :D
    Posted one year ago
    1. Thanks Christine - it's a bit of a shame that they turned around so that the blob is now in a nonsensical place, but at least some of the intricacies of Panorpa copulation "rituals" can be seen :o) Posted one year ago
      1. True. But, it’s so fantastic and disgusting that you got a shot of a blob of spit that the female plans to eat. So nasty. I love it! :D Posted one year ago
        1. Yuh .... females ... I'll never truly understand ... ;-P Posted one year ago
          1. Haha, yes...Although, she may be wondering why the male thinks a blob of spit is a romantic gift...And, thus thinking she will never understand males ;P Posted one year ago
            1. I just read the most interesting thing that about nuptial gift giving in certain spiders...They have evolved an opportunistic cheating strategy where they wrap worthless nuptial gifts in lots of silk to disguise the contents of the gift and prolong mating and female feeding time.

              https://academic.oup.com/beheco/article/28/3/744/3051756
              Posted one year ago
              1. Sorry, one more cool factoid...Some scorpionfly males mate repeatedly in a short duration of time. But, they eventually run out of spit gifts. So, they give the female a dead insect instead. BUT, they take the insect back from her after mating and reuse the same dead insect - giving it to female after female. By the end, the dead insect gift is completely crusty and sucked dry. Posted one year ago

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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.

Similar species: Scorpionflies And Allies
Species identified by Pudding4brains
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By Pudding4brains

Public Domain
Uploaded Jul 3, 2018.