Bugs Battle For Love

One scientist is turning to studying a rather intimate part of a bug’s life in order to gain a better understanding of evolution in general. Christine Miller, an entomologist at the University of Florida, observes the insects in her organic garden day in and day out as the males battle each other for the right to pursue a certain fair lady. She watches these males, who act just like males everywhere when going after a possible mate – showy, cocky, and super macho, to observe how they compete and even get into physical fights with other males (sounds a little familiar, huh) when trying to find a mate.

Miller believes that having a better understanding of how insects select mates and the weapons they use to compete and fight for those mates can also provide clues that will help us better understand larger things like animal behavior, evolution, and diversity. The key to Miller’s study, however, is the evolution part. If we can gain a bit more insight into evolution, we could open doors to all kinds of mysteries and problems we face today such as antibiotic resistance. If we can understand how and why things have evolved to do what they do now, maybe we can predict how life might change in the future. It’s either this, or she’s just a weird insect pervert…

How could the mating habits of insects help us to better understand evolution?



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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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