The Courtship of Tiger Beetles
During this hunt, I stood for long periods of time, observing the little critters sprinting around on the ground. Noticed that some appeared larger and moved in shorter spurts. On closer inspection, they were actually a courting couple!
Tiger beetles are known to be super horny and would not hesitate to attempt to copulate. In the short trip alone, I observed 4 to 5 pairs of courting tiger beetles. Unfortunately, none were observed to be successful in copulation.
The male typically approaches the female from behind in intermittent sprints, and mounts her when he gets close enough. From there, it would be a bull-riding phase where the male clamps onto her thorax with his mandibles and legs, while the female struggles to throw the intruder off her back. He then attempts to insert his extended genitalia into the female while doing this. Some called this rape. Others called this courtship. 😛
- Warming up with the little sprinters
- Front view, extremely hard to approach these guys!
- Noticed this particular tiger beetle that looks larger, and seemed to have more legs. On closer inspection… they were just stacked! Top guy looks like trying to maintain balance. lol
- Yay!! Balanced!
- Waited for the duo to turn around
- Closer look, seems like the one on top is biting on the one below?
- I actually spotted 4 more of such “couples”, here’s another pair
- Yet another pair! Always started with pictures from behind, they’d be flying off otherwise.
- Not really mating, but biting!
- A solitary tiger beetle