As I stepped out of the house this morning, what should greet me but the sight of two grasshoppers in the throes of passionate lovemaking?
Wrapped side-by-side, he had his eadegus encased in her ovipositor. Glistening emerald green in this cloudy morning, they looked like two sticks of suman.
The voyeur in me couldn't help but snap out my digital camera. Those hoping for insect porn will be disappointed. Apparently, reproduction in the world of Caelifera is a meditative process.
Slow, yes. But beautiful, too.
According to the Wikipedia:
During reproduction, the male grasshopper introduces sperm into the vagina through its aedeagus (reproductive organ), and inserts its spermatophore, a package containing the sperm, into the female's ovipositor. The sperm enters the eggs through fine canals called micropyles. The female then lays the fertilized egg pod, using her ovipositor to insert the eggs about one to two inches underground, although they can also be laid in plant roots or even manure. The egg pod stays there through the winter, and hatches when the weather has warmed sufficiently. The first nymph to hatch tunnels up through the ground, and the rest follow. Grasshoppers develop through stages that progressively get larger in body and wing size. This development is referred to as hemimetabolous or incomplete development.