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7 unusual insect courting rituals

By: Matt Hickman on Feb. 11, 2011, 1:25 p.m.
water strider on green water

Photo: Peri Apex/Flickr

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Water striders: Nice guys don’t always finish last

In the world of water striders, leggy ladies are more likely to be wooed by low-key lovers and not pushy, sexually aggressive types. In a 2009 study conducted by Omar Tonsi Eldakar of the University of Arizona’s Arizona Research Laboratories, it was found that on-the-market she-striders enjoy congregating in areas where they aren’t constantly hit on by the boys. In an article on PhysOrg.com, Eldakar remarks: “Nice guys don't always finish last. In this study we've shown that it's possible for non-aggressive males to have the advantage."

This makes sense considering that another study found that when male water striders do get aggressive with their mates, they don’t exactly play nice. Hovering above the water with the she-strider trapped beneath him, a pushy male will tap on the water’s surface with his legs creating ripples that attract hungry fish. He’ll do this until his mate, fearing for her life, has no other choice but to give in and say yes to a little lovin’.