Mating chirps, fighting sperm, hero ants - it's sex and society in the insect world
They're all around us but how many people know just how the societies of insects spend their days?
Most of the time insects are concerned with eating and mating - how they go about these tasks is more complex than some might assume.
Fireflies, for example, light up the sky looking for a mate, but some females will use deception to lure a meal instead.
In many insects sperm from different males must fight it out in the reproductive system of a single female.
There's also more than meets the eye in the swarms of ants you might see at a picnic - when trouble arises ants make sure to take care of their own.
Marlene Zuk, author of "Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love, and Language from the Insect World", explains how it all works.
Photos/Video: Alexander Wild, Stefan Lupold and Scott Pitnick, Think Stock, Elise Nowbahari, et al., Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images, Guang Niu/Getty Images
Produced by the BBC's David Botti
- 29 September 2011
- BBC News