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WWF-Canon / Alain COMPOST

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Praying mantis (Mantis religiosa) view of upper body on leaves in tropical rainforest, Java, Indonesia

It's fairly well known that a female mantis may eat her mate while he is still linked with her in the amorous act.But there are stranger things than that going on in the insect world...

In order to ensure their sperm fertilize the eggs, male damselflies can scoop out the previous male's sperm from the female's 'womb' (or 'spermatheca').

And male bed bugs get straight to the point: they pierce the female's abdomen and inject sperm straight into her blood as a shortcut to her eggs.

Some male butterflies are known to coat the female's genitalia with a substance that hardens, preventing her from mating again.

One species of walkingstick (family Phasmatidae) may copulate for as long as 79 days!

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