Question for Entomologist: Do any insects have age disparate sex?

Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2019 11:11 pm

I'm writing a science fiction novel regarding entomologists and insects.

There are chapters from human points of view and many that are from a bug's (which are the most interesting to write!)
Long story short--this is a question that will define the basis between some characters

The question is:

Is there a reproductive insect relationship in which there is age disparity between male and female?

Does such a relationship exist between any known insects? Older female copulating with younger male ? Or vice versa?
Is there the equivalent of the trophy wife or husband for insects? O_o

I've been doing research and I can't find evidence of anything in particular.
My thinking is there's so many genetic variations and oddities among bugs that I'm convinced there must be some species that reproduces like this (or at least close to it)

If anyone knows of any firsthand experience or can lead me to a place with confirmed facts--I would be most appreciative!
I am very keen of keeping my book as scientifically accurate as possible Smile

Thank you!
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Reply Wed 30 Jan, 2019 12:00 am
I'm having difficulty thinking of any insects that have relatively long lives with the exception of the periodical cicadas, and they would all have equally long lives.

I'll bear the question in mind though. Now, if you want to extend the question to include spiders, the tarantulas have disparate lifespans between the males and female. The females live up to 30 years and are rather domestic in their burrows, while males are free-roaming and have much shorter lives. I think there are other cases with the spiders, but I can't think of any right now. People can relate to tarantulas because they run into them in the warmer parts of the country, and many people keep them as pets.

Since your story is about entomologists, entomology often includes the study of arthropods other than insects, so you might include spiders as well as other arthropods.
Reply Wed 30 Jan, 2019 06:26 am
good point about the arthropods that are not insects. I was wondering whether some insects that undergo incomplete metamorphosis (like roaches), could it be that they are "sexually active" in a lower instar??
Or does sex maturity go along with , say, instar 5 or 6??

If it was possible, Id vote for Preying mantises. These little guys are really cool.
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Reply Wed 30 Jan, 2019 06:30 am
I doubt insects care about or select for, any age difference. It’s more a matter of what’s available. The advice you have already received in the previous posts seems good.
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Reply Wed 30 Jan, 2019 08:50 am
Just last night while walking through the forest, I saw a very large cricket and he was chirping in a strangely familiar manner apparently directed towards a much smaller and differently marked cricket. I stopped for a bit to listen. It took a while to discern the patterns in the chirping but then I had it. He was chirping "Good morning little school grub".

Not sure if this single anecdote will help you out but it's all I have.
Reply Wed 30 Jan, 2019 03:29 pm
I found the case of the African mound-building termites in which the queen lives up to 45 years and lays millions of eggs. However, a new virgin queen paris off with a male for life, and they're apparently monogamous.

Your best bet so far would be the tarantula with a female living up to 30 years and probably having more than one short-lived male suitor throughout her life.
Reply Wed 30 Jan, 2019 03:35 pm
does the termite couple get married or just live in sin??
Reply Wed 30 Jan, 2019 04:47 pm
Either way they're stuck with each other for life, more or less sealed in, I believe.
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Reply Wed 30 Jan, 2019 11:27 pm
Ahh Yes I should have specified "Arthropods" in fact. Any bug will do!

This fact about tarantula's is very good, I appreciate it! I will check out similar spiders

Just by the numbers it seems a male tarantula would be meeting older females. Still I'm wondering if there is ay proven instance where an arthropod would be seeking an older mate based on some evolutionary preference. I'll keep looking

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Reply Wed 30 Jan, 2019 11:34 pm
You’re a little twisted, I admire that.
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2019 08:09 am
As I may have mentioned previously, I was the only kid in my church choir who wasn't sexually molested. You can imagine what this did to my self esteem.
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