Navigation Links
In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises
Date:4/17/2014

Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but related species in the genus Neotrogla, are the first example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia.

"Although sex-role reversal has been identified in several different animals, Neotrogla is the only example in which the intromittent organ is also reversed," says Kazunori Yoshizawa from Hokkaido University in Japan.

During copulation, which lasts an impressive 40 to 70 hours, female insects insert an elaborate, penis-like organ into males' much-reduced, vagina-like opening. The researchers speculate that the insects' sex organs and sex-role reversal may have been driven over evolutionary time by the resource-poor cave environment in which the bugs live. Males of the genus provide females with nutritious seminal gifts in addition to sperm, making it advantageous for females to mate at a higher rate.

At first, Rodrigo Ferreira from the Federal University of Lavras in Brazil was focused on a description of species in the cave environment where Neotrogla lives. He sent specimens off to insect specialist Charles Lienhard in Geneva, who recognized them as a new genus. Lienhard also discovered the females' very impressive penis-like organs.

Yoshizawa joined the team to take a closer look. To learn more, the researchers observed the mating behavior of all four species to find that the penis-like structure, termed the gynosome, is inserted into males and used to receive generous capsules of nourishment and sperm. Once inside a male, the membranous part of the female gynosome inflates and numerous spines internally anchor the two insects together.

In one instance, when the researchers attempted to pull a male and female apart, the male's abdomen was ripped from the thorax without breaking the genital coupling. In other words, it appears that females can hold males very tightly indeed.

The findings pave the way for interesting studies in these insects to learn what makes them so special. Neotrogla offers new opportunities to test ideas about sexual selection, conflict between the sexes, and the evolution of novelty, the researchers say.

"It will be important to unveil why, among many sex-role-reversed animals, only Neotrogla evolved the elaborated female penis," says Yoshitaka Kamimura from Keio University in Japan. For that, the researchers will look into studies of behavior, physiology, and more. First on the list, they say, is to establish a healthy population of the insects in the lab.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mary Beth O'Leary
moleary@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Color in fossil insects, diamonds from the ancient ocean floor and modeling the worlds largest rivers
2. New Handbook of Turfgrass Insects, second edition
3. Team discovers reason that male moths can keep finding females
4. Peacock love songs lure eavesdropping females from afar
5. Females tagged in wasp mating game
6. Environmental change impacts on migratory shorebirds differ for males and females
7. Females fend off gut diseases
8. Does it pay to be a lover or a fighter? It depends on how you woo females
9. Hormone in crab eyes makes it possible for females to mate and care for their young
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises
(Date:4/11/2017)... -- NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards and ... furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief Executive Officer ... guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as we move ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during the ... is the primary factor for the growth of the ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem ... technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market of ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 The research team of ... three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae ... realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, ... cost. ... A research ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 19, 2017 , ... A colony ... among its cells and tissues by delivering pollen and nectar containing nutrients necessary for ... means to stay healthy. , Many recent indicators point to a decline in honey ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... Cybrexa Therapeutics, a start-up cancer ... financing in the amount of $6 million. An investment vehicle affiliated with HighCape ... , The Series B funding will enable Cybrexa to complete the build-out of ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Slone Partners welcomed a panel of premier ... search firm, “Building Value in Precision Medicine: Can We Overcome the Obstacles?” , ... an open discussion with expert panelists Troy Cox, CEO of Foundation Medicine, Barbara ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... ... June 14, 2017 , ... The newest company to ... therapeutic antibodies using rabbits that express human genes. ATGC, a spin out of the ... in 2015, ATGC is a translational genomics company. Its founders are among the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: