Life can really suck for a male moth. He only has a short time to pass on his genes before he dies, he shares the night sky with thousands of hungry bats and he's nothing but a defenseless flying dust bunny full of protein.
Why do I even exist?
Fortunately, some moths have evolved a pretty cool defense mechanism against the bat menace -- they emit their own ultrasonic clicks similar to the bat's sonar, effectively jamming the predator's signals. One species, however, has turned what was once a lifesaving defense into nothing but a cheap, dirty pick-up tactic.
Much like how "peacocking" was bastardized by hipster "pick-up artists."
In the armyworm moth, only the male comes equipped with the ultrasonic organs, and instead of using them on bats, they use them almost solely in the presence of female moths. Armyworm moths basically fly around screaming "Rarrgh! I'm a VERY NEARSIGHTED sky monster who eats SEXY CHICKS! There better not be any SEXY CHICKS flying around out here!"
"Also, I ... uh ... hear there are some seriously big-dicked moths hanging around. You should totally get you some of that."
Now, since the female doesn't have these organs at all, her only defense against a bat is to land somewhere and stay perfectly still, waiting for the danger to pass. You can guess what happens next.
In the microscopic mite Adactylidium, females are born pregnant and males aren't technically born at all. You don't want to know how, but you know we're going to tell you and you know you're going to keep reading, because Cracked is the most devious animal of them all.
You think we look creepy on the outside?
From birth, the female Adactylidium already has around a half dozen female embryos inside her ... and just a single male. Not content to grow up and compete for sex like any normal animal, each unborn female takes a turn using her unborn brother to impregnate herself, guaranteeing her reproductive success before she even steps out into the world.
Mites. We get laid before we're even born.
When they're all ripe and ready to go, they devour their own mother from the inside-out and leave the male to flounder and die by mom's corpse; he serves no further purpose and has no means to even feed himself. Meanwhile, every one of his sisters is already carrying an incestuous unborn rape orgy inside of her like a nesting doll from hell. Mites, ladies and gentlemen!
"We're even more awful than we look!"
Dinoponera quadriceps is an unusual species of "queenless" bullet ant, forming small colonies of just a couple dozen females who attract flying males when they're ready to mate -- males who might be better off finding themselves a nice lonely widow spider or bark scorpion or maybe a windshield to sex up.
There are actually a number of male insects who prevent competition from future males by just never ever pulling out. They lodge themselves in there and tag along wherever she goes, which our Southern readers may have observed in swarms of "lovebugs."
"We don't use protection, either!"
This seems like another dick move, but it's actually beneficial to the female as well, sparing her harassment from an endless chain of additional suitors. In queenless ants, the real dick move comes from the female. She doesn't want to keep getting hassled by guys, but she doesn't want to drag a guy around by his junk all day either. So, she chews his ass in half and leaves him behind to die, carrying his rotten crotch around to let everybody know she's spoken for. Hey, it's not her fault he was too cheap for a ring.
"Suddenly, joining the clergy doesn't sound all that bad."
Find more from Jonathan at bogleech.com.
For more bizarre sexual acts out of Mother Nature, check out 5 Animals That Can Do Amazing Things ... With Their Penises and The 15 Most Bizarre Animal Mating Rituals.
And stop by LinkSTORM wash your brain clean of the horror you just read. (Just kidding -- it only gets worse from here.)
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