Olivia Judson’s funny and blissfully original new book …purports to be sex advice offered to the animal kingdom by a universal agony aunt called Dr Tatiana, and amply demonstrates the sheer unyielding ruthlessness of the business of procreation. … She responds with gusto to pleading letters from the Dandy on the Cowpat, a yellow dung-fly who wants to make his sperm more attractive, or Anxious in Amboseli, an African elephant who is diagnosed as possessing SINBAD (Single Income, No Babe, Absolutely Desperate). I-Like-‘Em-Headless-in-Lisbon is a praying mantis who asks Dr Tatiana if she also enjoys the thrilling mid-sex spasms of a partner who has just been decapitated; and we are introduced to a female midge who plunges her proboscis into her mates’ heads and turns their innards to a soup “which she slurps up, drinking until she’s sucked him dry…only his manhood, which breaks off inside her, betrays the fact that this was no ordinary meal.” There are several kinds of spiders, we learn further, “where there can be no doubting the females’ intention to take head, not give it.”
All this is from 2002. Just recently, I learnt that Olivia Judson has a blog, but alas, her blog is behind the NYTimes‘ paywall. So, all I can do is to just link to some extended excerpts in Mark Thoma’s blog: here, here, and here.