Friday 2 May 2014

Female Insects with Penises have been Discovered

Female insects with "penises" have been discovered in a cave in eastern Brazil.

Scientists think they are the first example of animals with reversed genitalia.

The females of four species of Neotrogla insert their erectile organs into males' vagina-like openings.

The structure, known as a "gynosome", is used to suck out sperm and nutritious seminal fluids, which provide the females with food as well. This may be an important survival strategy as they live in a cave environment where food is scarce.

Copulation lasts an impressive 40-70 hours.

Once inside a male, the female gynosome inflates. It has numerous spines which anchor the two insects very firmly together.

When the researchers attempted to pull a male and female apart, the male's abdomen was pulled from its thorax without breaking the coupling.

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