Friday, July 15, 2005

Butterfly Love

One of the older vlogs I made and uploaded to archive, this video is one of my rarest of captures - two butterflies making aerial love, on a lone tree beside Hampi's ruins... The only goal in life for an adult butterfly is to reproduce. The males look for females to inseminate. The females lay eggs. Within the males' abdomen are the sperm producing organs. When the male mates, a set of "claspers" at the end of the abdomen will open and clamp down on the female's abdomen. Butterflies mate facing in opposite directions with their abdomens attached. The penis enters the female at the same location where the eggs come out. When the male ejaculates, the semen enters a small storage pouch inside the females abdomen. After mating, the female has about 100 eggs inside her and a pouch full of the male spermatozoa. Once gravid, she will perform a kind of self-fertilization. When she places an egg on the hostplant, as the egg is passing out of her ovipositor, it will pass this pouch. At that instant, one spermatozoa will fertilize the egg and determine its sex. When the egg is first placed on the leaf, it was fertilized less than a second before. ----- from