photograph of assassin bugs mating; showing male’s sexual organ (?)
I am new to your really fun and interesting-while-informative site. I enjoy photography and was outside three days ago taking pictures of the sunflowers in my front yard here in Phoenix, Arizona. There were two bugs mating (assassin bugs per a 6/16/2006 post on your site that I just noticed last night). It seems as though you can actually see the male’s sexual organ, as the pair were in an almost belly-to-belly position, with one of them actually hanging off the flower (would this be the male?) while the other bug is perched on top. I appreciate the time and effort you spend on your site. I know I have a greater respect and enjoyment of bugs because of it. Thank you.
P.S. I was just wondering if you would be interested in seeing the picture. I didn’t want to just send in a picture that may be too graphic for your site, so I am first writing to ask if it is okay.
Hi Jo Ann,
My, what an impressive image of mating Yellow Bellied Bee Assassins, Apiomerus flaviventris. All of the submissions on BugGuide are also from Arizona. We believe the lower insect in your photo is the male. For the record, we are of the opinion that acts of nature are not too graphic for our website. We do not care, however, to exactly define what an act of nature is. We are also mindful of the parameters of our website’s content, and despite the iguana and lizard page, we confine ourselves to invertebrates, with the exception of collateral inclusion of various quadripeds and bipeds, birds and fish that are seen in relationship to our typical subject matter. Thanks again for an awesome addition to our site, and a new species as well.