Black widow
Black widow Pixabay

The world of nature is fascinating and a mystery to most of us. The savageness and brutality that dwells in the lush greens are captivating yet poles apart from the civilized ranting of the urbanized society.

Courtship displays, mating rituals form a significant aspect of the world of nature. These behaviours include ritualized movement, mechanical sound production or display of beauty, strength or agnostic ability.

Mating rituals in certain species end up in violence, gruesomely killing either the male or the female. Here's a list of 6 stomach-churning mating rituals from the wild.

Mantis

Mantis
Mantis Pixabay

For the mantis, the mating ritual starts on a romantic note, including a long mating dance. The mantises point out their antennae outwards while dancing. During the course of mating, the female mantis ends up eating the head of the male. The female returns back to nature as the sole survivor while the male lies dead. Head-eating is, however, a part of the interaction for two major reasons - it helps the male to ejaculate quickly and satiates the hunger of the female which helps in their sustenance.

Blanket Octopus

Octopus
A young girl gets an up-close look at an octopus as SeaWorld unveils their new Ocean Explorer section at SeaWorld in San Diego, California, U.S., May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake Reuters

The Blanket Octopus has an unobtrusive mating habit. The male octopus is 40,000 times smaller than the female. The male swims up to his woman of choice and sticks his mating arm to her body. In doing so the male actually dies. The female octopus never realizes the encounter. The arm is left behind and crawls around her body until it arrives in her gill slit. It waits in the slit for the eggs to mature. Once the eggs are matured, the female rips open the sperm packet over the eggs. By that point in time, the male lies dead somewhere, deep in the ocean.

Black Widow

Black Widow Spider
A female black widow spider carries her egg sack near the city of Pavlodar, Kazakhstan, August 15, 2001. A plague of lethal black widow spiders is terrorising this northern Kazakh city, killing an 81-year old woman last week. Bites to humans usually occur when the black widow defends her web or protects her egg sack. Reuters

Prevalence of sexual cannibalism is high in spider species. Apart from their deadly bite, the Black Widows are popular in the wild for their savageness. After mating the female spiders eat up the male completely, thus providing them with the title 'Widow Spiders'.

Wasp spiders

Wasp spiders
A spider moves to feed on a wasp ensnared in its web in a garden in west London, September 3, 2013. Picture taken using a macro lens and two off-camera flashes. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT) Reuters

Set aside the Black Widows, the Wasp Spiders provide the most violent example of spider copulation. Male wasp spiders allow their genitals to break off inside the female just before she pounces on the male to eat him up. Females with genitals already broken off inside them eat up the male much more quickly, even before successful mating.

Dana Octopus Squid

Squid
A Bigfin reef squid swims in a display for the upcoming "Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes" exhibition at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California, April 8, 2014. The $3.5 million exhibition, which opens April 12, will feature some species being raised and exhibited for the first time anywhere in the world. REUTERS/Michael Fiala (UNITED STATES - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY) Reuters

The Dana Octopus Squid, with its beak and sharp claws, makes holes in its mate before copulation. It then uses its genital to insert sperms in the cuts. In the squid family, copulation is brutal. The list also includes Greater Hooked Squid and Sharpear Enope Squid.

Anglerfish

Anglerfish
Anglerfish Reuters


The mating ritual of the anglerfish is parasitic in nature. The male attaches to the female body by biting and digesting his own face and by fusing himself onto the flesh of the large female anglerfish. The male loses its eyes, fins and some internal organs until it is left with its gonads. The gonad releases sperms to the female body when needed.