How do animals attract each other?

Song and Dance

Have you ever seen fireflies flashing on a summer night? If so, you’ve seen male fireflies looking for mates. The male firefly flashes his light to attract a female. Animals use all sorts of things—light, colourful feathers, and even food—to attract mates.

The male satin bowerbird of Australia builds a kind of house out of grass and twigs. It decorates the house with bright stones, flowers, and seeds. When a female comes near, the male spreads its wings and “dances”.

Other animals make “songs” to attract mates. Crickets and grasshoppers make a loud sound by rubbing their wings together, or by scraping a leg against a wing. Many frogs and toads blow up a large sac under their chin. This makes their croaking sound extra loud.

Some animals use “perfume” to attract a mate. Female silkworm moths release sweet-scented chemicals to attract males. For some females, food is a gift of love. A male tern catches a fish and offers it to the female. Male nursery-web spiders present the female with a captured fly before mating.