OtherPix: 12: Prey

Possibly the most tragic situation is shown in this photograph (made in Italy in July 2007): a female Blue Featherleg (Platycnemis pennipes) can be seen with a male's claspers still attached to her pronotum. What exactly happened to her mate is of course a matter of speculation, but his bitten-off abdomen would suggest that he fell victim to a predator (possibly a bird) which made off with the rest of his body. Now it would seem this female has been condemned to a life of forced celibacy; unless she can somehow free herself of the male's claspers, she will not be able to copulate with other males and her eggs will remain unfertilised.

Blue Featherleg (Platycnemis pennipes), female

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