Nuptial gifts are items provided by a male invertebrate to a female prior to mating. Most species do not provide nuptial gifts but, in those that do, the nature of the gift is often specific to the species involved.
In some species of bush cricket the nuptial gift is in the form of a spermatophylax. The spermatophylax is a gelatinous substance produced by the male that the female insect consumes and this provides sustenance to the female.
In contrast, male scorpionflies will often provide the female with a dead insect prior to mating. Frequently the male has stolen the dead insect from the web of a spider. The gift distracts the female during copulation but also provides her with additional nutrition which will be important for her while producing eggs.
A photograph of male (top) and female (bottom) scorpionflies. The male often provides the female with a nuptial gift (usualy a dead insect) prior to mating.
Photograph by Hans-Jörg Hellwig licensed under Creative Commons.
Other names for (or types of) Nuptial gift include:
Related groups of terms
Related pages on this web site
Back to Glossary