Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Mating Japanese Beetles
Latin name: Popillia japonica
We visited friends in Welland this past Sunday. They had a rather wild area behind the garage full of Goldenrod, Mint, and grapes that grew over the fence. These Japanese Beetles were found on grape leaves and were obviously in some state of mating. You can see some sort of discharge from the female (the one on the bottom). I am happy with the lighting intensity and clarity of this photo. The field of view is pretty close to lateral, giving good focus along the length of the beetles with a bit of a bias to their heads. This picture has been having a good run on the top20macro group on Flickr (a sort of Darwinian-modelled group whereby everyone is an administrator, only one post per day is allowed, and only 20 posts are allowed in the group).
I had noticed that some Japanese Beetles took on a pose whereby their hindmost limbs would splay out to the side. I think this may be done by females in order to provide purchase to the male when mating (you can see this in the photo). I don't think Japanese Beetles play coy when it comes to reproductive rituals. They pretty well just go at it. Often one can find two beetles mating with a third (presumably a patient male) sitting nearby.