The current article “The Shocking Sex Secrets of Insects” by Zuk, 2013 offers a substantive review on various issues regarding insect mating. The article is primarily based on an examination of two fossilized bugs as they mated close to 165 million years ago. Notably, the article seeks to offer critical insights to biological scientists on sex as a behavioural component of insects. In exploring the mating behaviours of insects, the current article explores on sex positioning in the context of insect mating. According to the author of the current article, the article is essential because it offers crucial information regarding the evolutionary history of the mating habits of insects. Basing primarily on the fossilized bugs as aforementioned herein, the article elucidates on the two specific reasons as to why scientist often dwells on insect mating behaviours.
The first reason as to why scientists study the sex habits of insects aligns with the fact that studies on specific aspects of mating in insects such as shape of genitalia and sex positioning re-enacts the evolutionary history, which aids in the comparison of the relationship between various insect species. In addition, focus on insect mating help scientist draw conclusions as to whether males or females have control on the eventual mating outcomes. A close analysis of the current article shows that the article dwells on a number of insect species. To be precise, the article compares mating behaviours of insect by offering examples of different insect including crickets, damselfly, and striders. The article does offer the scientific names of the insects mentioned in it. Nonetheless, crickets are from Gryllidae family, whereas the scientific name of striders is Gerris remigis and that of the damselfly is Zygoptera (Gullan & Cranston, 2010). The cockroach is another insect mentioned in the current article whose scientific name is Blattaria.
In a nutshell, the focus on insect mating by scientist aims at the eventual outcome of mating, which is reproduction. As such, scientific focus on mating seeks to establish whether certain mating behaviours have an influence on reproduction. Worth noting is the fact that mating behaviour vary from one insect to the other. There are cases where mating behaviours, especially positioning may favour the male or the female insects involved in the mating. In the case of crickets, the females often seem to have an upper hand because through mating the male cricket provide nutritious globes derived from their body fluids, which the females eats while mating is going on (Zuk, 2013). This is contrary to the case of water striders where mating is often unceremonious because the males usually leap on the females, forcefully clinging to them while mating. This analysis shows that in the case of crickets, females are somewhat in control of mating as they have to be enticed by the males, whereas in the case of water striders, males are in full control.
Gullan, P. J., & Cranston, P. S. (2010). The insects: An outline of entomology. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
Zuk, M. (2013). The Shocking Sex Secrets of Insects. The New York Times. Retrieved From: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/01/sunday-review/the-shocking-sex-secrets-of- insects.html?_r=0