Off With Their Heads! Brutal Insect Decapitators?!

Off With Their Heads! Brutal Insect Decapitators?!

There are quite a number of insects out there that seem to be awfully dedicated headhunters. These guys don’t just hunt for heads to chop off either. A lot of them seem to use the most brutal method of removing the head too. It makes me wonder what they would be like if they were humans…I’m guessing serial killers. In this third volume of my posts on headhunting insects, I’ll tell you about some kinky preying mantis that like to mix in a little blood sport with their sex.

Females of the European mantis species have a thing for chewing off their mate’s head while they are copulating. You would think this would have a negative effect on the male’s performance, but in fact it apparently gets them even more excited. When the female mantis chews off the male’s head she severs a nerve in his head that gets rid of his sexual restraint. So, rather than slow down, the male’s body actually begins to go at it even more vigorously. What’s more, the body can live for four hours after it’s lost its head, meaning the female will have no problem getting pregnant even though her mate is technically dead. And I thought black widows were brutal to their mates.

Does the sexual practices of the female mantis creep you out? Or, maybe it’s the fact that the males don’t seem to mind or avoid mating with these killers. Have you heard stories of other insects or animals that are this brutal to their mates?

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Smithereen Pest Management provides IPM pest services to residential and commercial clients in Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri. http://www.smithereen.com/
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