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Re: [OM] IMG: Mating Hummingbird Clearwing Moths

Subject: Re: [OM] IMG: Mating Hummingbird Clearwing Moths
From: Jim Nichols <jhnichols@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2020 15:20:21 -0500
Hi Jan,

I first saw this pair in their tail-to-tail embrace and she was carrying him backward, which I had never observed before.  They finally settled on a leaf and and held that position for several minutes.  It was only as I processed the photos that I realized that she was quite a bit larger and of a darker color.  A little on-line research told me that the larger was the female.

On 9/3/20 3:04 PM, Jan Steinman wrote:
From: Jim Nichols <jhnichols@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

I think that is why the female is larger
Now you got me wondering if this is a general pattern for flying creatures.

In raptors, the female is always bigger. They mate in the air, and the theory 
is that females evolved bigger to be able to extricate themselves from a tryst 
that is getting too close to the ground. He's focused on a task, and she's 
wondering what colour to pain the ceiling. :-)

Songbirds (Passerines) do not mate in the air, and don't have a size disparity.

:::: Our overcommittment to dependence on fossil acreage was the result of the 
temporarily low cost of energy from antiquity. Because the low cost was temporary, it 
was an unrealistic basis for a way of life. -- William Catton 
<http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=William+Catton> ::::
:::: Jan Steinman, EcoReality Co-op ::::

Jim Nichols
Tullahoma, TN USA

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