Only these small creatures enjoy one of Nature’s most fascinating inventions: metamorphosis. No other animal on Earth can hope to live three lives in one: larva, pupa or chrysalis, and adult. Reproduction, the main purpose of all living beings, acquires in the insects’ universe a set of amazing characteristics that allows them to enjoy the richest and most complex sexuality on the planet. Sexual dimorphism among males and females, quite spectacular in some cases, fulfills different functions, essential in the process of reproduction. Maybe its flashiest function is related to seduction. The physical differences between males and females play a decisive role in sexual attraction; nevertheless, these are not the only flirting techniques. Surprising forms of seduction exist by means of smells, sounds, and colors; and the moment of copulation brings unsuspected surprises, or violent consequences, as in the case of the female of the legendary mantis, who, in one of every five sexual encounters, devours her companion. Sometimes copulation can last only a few moments, other times it can extend for days, but the abdomen of the fertilized female will become replete with new lives.
After the hatching of the eggs, the newborn children begin their relationship with life at once, and it is in this process of growth where Nature executes one of its most prodigious creations of magical appearance, the metamorphosis, wherein lies the incredible spectacle of the insects’ development. As with great magic tricks, it is a type of growth that has its own fascinating secrets. The adult insect emerges from its nymphal chamber after gathering energy during its larval state, which will occupy the greater part of its life. But this is only the end of a long story that, more than any other, must be told from the beginning.