Last night I put a female cecropia in a mating cage (homemade cage) on the back deck here in Pickering (Ontario, Canada). When I went to bed there was one male flying around the cage, so I expected to see them in copula in the morning. What I saw in the morning were 16 male cecropia's scattered around the deck, including 5 on the cage. One of the 5 is in copula with my female, while 4 others are in copula with the end of a rope (rope is part of the cage providing a perching spot for the female for good footing). In the photo it appears the 4 males are in copula with each other (impossible I am sure), but a closer look and each of the 4 is attached to the soft end of the rope, and remained there all day, in fact still there as of this writing. I have seen this once before with a single individual, also a late arrival to a calling female. Anyone seen this, have an explanation for this behavior?
I agree, the rope is not necessary, I guess just a bit of a premium perch. What I am wondering has anyone seen moths mating with something other than a female. Seems very unusual they would mistake the soft end of a rope for a female. And not just one, but four. Weird.