Male giraffe weevils battle it out for female's affections

Size is no obstacle for giraffe weezils when it comes to luck with the ladies with small males likely to get just as many mating opportunities as large males.

An Auckland University researcher who studies the insects says males use all sorts of tactics in their quest to mate.

Behavioural Ecologist Chrissie Painting says male giraffe weevils use their jaws to joust for the affections of a female.

"They'll meet together and use their jaws to try and pull and push each other off the tree," she said.

The weevils are found in dead or dying trees all over New Zealand and can grow up to nine centimetres long.

Because they can vary greatly in size, researchers are fascinated in how a smaller male can win-over the female.

The tactic they use is called 'sneaking' explains Ms Painting.

"They sort of tuck themselves down around the female, and go completely unnoticed so that they can safely keep copulating or mating with the female.... sort of literally under the nose of the large male so to speak," she said.

"Small males just get just as many mating opportunities as large males".

Research has shed light on the sneaky tactics of the male Giraffe Weevil looking to mate. Source: 1 NEWS


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