Thursday, September 27, 2012

Love is in the air

It's love bug season season again. My car looked like the cartoon below after returning from seeing a patient in the Daytona beach area today. The August-September emergence is called the summer generation while the April-May emergence is the winter generation. The adults only have a life span of 3-4 days. The males prefer the larger and heavier females. When coupled the male faces the opposite direction (backwards) and after a courtship of  only 1.5-10 minutes (with no eye contact!) begins copulating. When coupled and copulating they disperse. After dispersing the male dies and the female deposits as many as 600 eggs under decaying leaves or grass before also dying. It's such an odd life cycle. The larval and pupal stage for the winter generation takes 8-9 months (3-4 months for the summer generation) before becoming an adult to have sex for three or four days (or less when they smash into the windshield of your car) before dying. They have had many nicknames over the years: honeymoon fly, kissing bug, double-headed bug, etc.. I think I'll just start referring to them as "CCD" bugs: coupling, copulating and die bugs.

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