Dr. Inon Scharf of Tel Aviv University's Department of Zoology and Dr. Oliver Martin of Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich published new research in the Oct. 21, 2013, edition of the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology that indicates male insects that attempt to mate with males are not “gay” but are confused due to being rather randy.
"Insects and spiders mate quick and dirty," Dr. Scharf observes. "The cost of taking the time to identify the gender of mates or the cost of hesitation appears to be greater than the cost of making some mistakes."
Spiders and insects cannot or do not make a great attempt at determining the sex of a potential mate before attempting mating. The physical cost of attempted mating with a bug of the same sex is the same as mating with a bug of a different sex.
About 25 percent of bugs die from the energy expended during mating regardless of the sex of the partner. Eighty-five percent of males initiate homosexual mating in some species of insects.
The researchers propose one reason for insect homosexual activity is that males carry the pheromones from previous sexual activity with females and the other males just cannot resist the attraction of that scent. Many males and females of some insect species look so similar that the insects cannot tell what sex another insect is until the bug actually begins copulation.
The researchers assert that any evolutionary advantage to homosexual activity in bugs is probably nil unlike some mammals.