The Bizarre Mating Ritual of the Globular Springtail

Andrew LaSane

Most animal mating rituals are relatively strange, but a few are objectively weirder than others. Take, for example, globular springtails: Instead of performing an elaborate dance like some species of birds, or biting and fusing with their lovers like the anglerfish, these small insects have a more acrobatic approach to sex.

According to a video (above) produced by WIRED, the smaller male globular springtail hooks onto the larger female's antennae while they stand face-to-face. The female then lifts the male into the air and waves him around until he deposits his sperm onto the ground, forming a spermatophore. The male guides the female onto the spermatophore, which she takes into her body, and the deed is done. While the mating ritual is much less violent than others we've seen, it's still not a dance we would want to cut in on.

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