OtherPix: 19: Mating

The following photograph (made in Italy in November 2009) shows a similar situation. Three Western Willow Spreadwings (Chalcolestes viridis) have formed a triplet, whereby the female who is ovipositing into a tree (which, incidentally, looks as if it's been used as an ovipositing site before) is being held in tandem by a male. Nothing unusual in that. But the male himself is also being held in tandem, by another male. The latter (i.e. the top male in the photograph) was presumably the last to appear on the scene and grabbed the middle male by his pronotum, maybe in the hope of taking over the first male's conjugal duties should he lose his grip.

Western Willow Spreadwing (Chalcolestes viridis), triplet

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