The Birds and the Bees – today’s R-rated biology lesson

I was sitting at the kitchen table when I noticed two large, kind of creepy, insects land on the outside door frame. At first I thought they were dragonflies mating, but when I googled that I found an interesting photograph of the mating habits of dragonflies. The insects on our door frame, although connected through their long tails, were nowhere near as gymnastic as the dragonflies.

At one point the top one arched up.

And then later the bottom one stood up.

I think they might have been trying to disconnect at this point. The top one shifts position.

And then they both fly away, still connected together. They were outside on my door frame for 22 minutes. You’re probably wondering why I don’t have anything better to do than photograph insects mating.

It’s all in the pursuit of scientific knowledge.

Later in the day I was sitting on our front porch and saw this little guy—little in relationship to the world, but large compared to most insects. I’m pretty sure it is a robber fly, as were the two with the romantic interlude I photographed above.

Today’s biology lesson was brought to you by Random Thoughts from Midlife, where no creature is too mundane or insignificant to warrant the expenditure of time in observation.


22 thoughts on “The Birds and the Bees – today’s R-rated biology lesson”

  1. Very interesting, Christine. I thought only dragonflies showed this behavior, but apparently there are other flies as well.
    I’m glad you took the time to photograph these little ones.

    1. I really never knew what these insects were (and perhaps still don’t). They give you a start when they fly close. I read that if they are handled incorrectly (not sure what that means) they can cause a painful bite (or maybe it was sting). They don’t have to worry about me. I won’t be handling them correctly or not.

  2. Too bad you couldn’t have interviewed them. I am curious, but visual communication will have to suffice. I enjoyed the biology lesson. What a relaxing study. Nature provides such wonder. Imagine God creating so many diverse creatures! We will never have an excuse to be bored with all that we may observe and learn. Blessings to you, Christine…

    1. I know. Wouldn’t that be fun. Think of all you could learn. Nature does provide wonder. I think the great diversity and complexities of life and creatures is one of the most compelling arguments for the existence of God.

  3. I enjoyed it! Not that my blog doesn’t do this too.

    Years ago I was hiking in the U.P. and had two dragonflies land on my hand as I wrote in my journal. I shook them off pretty quickly when I realized why they were both there.


      1. I don’t think they sting, but they can bite. They have to really be provoked to do that though. I’ve had them land on me before and they’re not very aggressive.

  4. I have seen some of this behavior in our yard, as well. Some crazy stuff going on out there! But I’m with you, it is interesting, not something one sees every day. So much to learn!

  5. Christine,

    Those are cicada-eating bees or cicada-eating wasps. They are called both. I have them here near the house and have investigated. They are fierce looking, and can be 1 1/4 – 1 1/2″ long. The males do not sting at all, and females rarely do so scientists say you don’t have to do anything about them. Unless, of course, you don’t like them where they are. Chemicals to kill them won’t destroy the larvae which are incubating in decaying cicadas that they drag underground into their tunnels. Next year those larvae will hatch with a new crop. Our solution attempt at present is to flood them and their tunnels with a hose where they create their tunnels.
    You’ll know where they are because of the piles of dirt and sand they leave.
    Glad to help.
    Your SIL Karen

    1. Thanks for clearing that up, Karen. I liked them better when I thought they were only flies. 🙂

      I haven’t notice, or looked for, their tunnels, but if I do see one, I will get out the hose. Thanks for the tip.


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