Let’s have a little fun, a little learning and a little YIKES! today with the LOVEBUG:
The Lovebug lives up to its name in the black fly world… but not in the human world.
Let’s begin in the black fly world.
The Lovebug, Plecia nearctica, is a small black fly with a red thorax (the area behind the head). The male Lovebug (1/4 inch) is smaller than the female (1/3 inch). Both the male and female Lovebug live only a few days in its adult stage.
But what the Lovebug does do in those few days is what gives it its reputation as a Lovebug, as well as its nicknames Honeymoon Fly, Kissingbug and Double-headed Bug.
The Lovebug is especially active during the day… and its activity is mating. The moment the female Lovebug emerges from her larval stage, she flies into a swarm of male Lovebugs. She is then grasped by one male Lovebug, and the attached couple fly off together (in-flight mating… YIKES!). During and after mating, the Lovebug couple stays coupled/attached.
This is when the Lovebug does not live up to its name in the human world.
The coupled Lovebugs are attracted to exhaust fumes, hot automobile engines, lights and automobile vibrations. YIKES! It is a serious nuisance and danger to drivers as swarms of mating Lovebugs pelt automobiles. This Lovebug hazard is familiar to Central America, Mexico and the Gulf States of the United States. The Lovebugs leave unsightly and difficult-to-remove carcasses on automobiles, creating removal costs to motorists and highway departments.
But the Lovebug is not bothersome in the biting department and is not known to transmit disease.
Introduce your kids and grandkids to the Lovebug. Decide for yourselves if the Lovebug lives up to its name!