News & Events

Cannibal Females

January 24, 2019 – April 16, 2019

Insects are the most successful and diverse animals on Earth. That incredible diversity is reflected in all aspects of their biology, including the many ways in which they procreate.

The photographs in this exhibit document the beauty, and the bizarre mating behaviour, of one group of insects, hump-winged grigs (genus Cyphoderris). Grigs are large, flightless relatives of crickets that have a decidedly unusual mating system. Male grigs sing by rubbing their front wings together, a behaviour that attracts receptive females and repels rival males. Once a female approaches a potential mate, she mounts his back and begins to feed on his hind wings. The loss of wing tissue and blood is not fatal to the male, and may serve to distract the female while the male grasps the female and attempts to copulate. The resulting male wing wounds offer us an intimate window into the mate choices of female grigs and thus into the operation of Darwinian evolution in the wild.

Kevin Judge, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has been studying the mating behaviour of these insects across their natural range in western North America, including here in Alberta, since 2009.

Faculty of Arts and Science | Biological Sciences

Event Details

Date January 24, 2019 – April 16, 2019
Start Time 9:00 a.m.
End Time 4:00 p.m.
Location Office of Teaching and Learning Services
City Centre Campus
10700 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
Event Type Exhibit/Show
Contact Person Agnieszka Matejko
Contact Phone 780-907-1904
Contact Email