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Six-legged Sex

Stepping out my front door, I walk right into an orgy of sex. I am surrounded by couples attached abdomen to abdomen. Crawling entangled bodies writhe in a mass next to the front window of the porch. It is late summer in Florida and the love bug mating season is upon us.

Love bugs are short lived. Their whole purpose as an adult is to breed. Everywhere I look male and female love bugs, attached abdomen to abdomen crawl on the front door, on the exterior house walls and on the shrubs. Some, still connected, fly in tandem, the male refusing to let go to prevent other males from having sex with its mate.

Piles of dead love bug bodies are strewn on the porch floor having lived out their three days of life. Fertilized females lay up to 350 eggs in the leaf litter, grasses and wood chips. She, too, will then die. In about three weeks the larvae will hatch from the eggs and will eat dead decaying plant matter until they grow large enough to pupate through the winter.

Next spring adult love bugs will emerge from their pupae and the six-legged sex orgy will begin again.


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