Semelparity indicates that an organism has just one reproductive cycle during its entire life. In most cases semelparous organisms die soon after they reproduce.
Typically, mayflies are semelparous organisms. These insects have a long larval stage and a very short adult stage (just enough time to reproduce). Drones (male bees), a few squid, bamboo and annual plants are also semelparous.
The term semelparous comes from Greek mythology. The name for this characteristic comes from Semele, one of Zeus' mistresses. Hera, the wife (and sister) of Zeus was jealous of Semele and set a trap for Zeus to kill her. He succeeded in extremis in extracting his future son Dionysus.
Some squid are semelparous: they only reproduce once in their life. © Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute