This just in: Insects give gifts!

Join the scorpion flies and spiders of the world (shrikes and bonobos too). Give a present - to Crosscut.
Crosscut archive image.

Make like a garden spider: give a gift. Just, not a dead bug.

Join the scorpion flies and spiders of the world (shrikes and bonobos too). Give a present - to Crosscut.

Yeah, it’s me again. And you know why I’m here.

But before I get to that, there’s this: According to Natalie Angier, The New York Times’ nonpareil science writer, bugs give gifts, as in insects bestow presents on other insects.

Sex is often the driver of this generosity. The male scorpionfly pretty much has one thing on his mind when he coughs up a protein-packed spitball for his favorite girl. Ditto the garden spider who wanders around the woods waving a gift-wrapped (in silk) insect — at great peril to himself, mind you, since the burden makes the spider 60 percent slower.

The impulse to exchange these so-called “nuptial” —and other — gifts “is ancient, transcultural and by no means limited to Homo sapiens,” writes Angier. Bugs, spiders, molluscs, birds, bonobos, they all do it. So why not you?

It’s a simple transaction. No nuptials involved. We give you news (and ideas and analysis, etc.) all day, every day throughout the year; you give us your hard-earned money. And take the tax deduction, as long as you make that gift by midnight tonight.

Giving to Crosscut is way easier than coughing up a spitball or hauling a dead bug around. Just:

  • Click here to donate online;
  • Call us at 206-382-6137 and we’ll take your pledge over the phone;
  • Snailmail your gift to our offices at 105 S. Main Suite 330 Seattle, WA 98104;
  • Or email your pledge to

And you'll get to bask in the warm glow of our appreciation all year long. Or, at least until our spring fund drive rolls around. ;)


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About the Authors & Contributors

Mary Bruno

Mary Bruno

Mary was Crosscut's Editor-in-Chief and Interim Publisher. In more than 25 years as a journalist, she has worked as a writer, editor and editorial director for a variety of print and web publications, including Newsweek, Seattle Weekly and Her book, An American River, is an environmental memoir about growing up along New Jersey's Passaic.