13 Jun 2016

A bug's life: sex and fighting

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 2:24 pm on 13 June 2016

Bug behaviour expert Leilani Walker answers questions about sexual cannabilism, why males bugs fight and why bigger isn't always better when it comes to winning a mate.

Leilani Walker is a doctoral student at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, where she researches bug and spider behaviour.


Q:  When a male spider enters a female's web, how does he stop her from immediately eating him?
A:   He drums on the web in a specific way to let her know that he's of the same species.

Q:   Why do male mantises and moths have such large antennae?
A:   To help them find females in the dark.

Q:   According to the Endangered species foundation, what are two of our most endangered New Zealand species after the Maui's dolphin?
A:  The Canterbury knobbled weevil and the Mokohinau stag beetle.

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