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Weird Science: Male Parasite Stabs Female With Penis To Mate [Watch]

May 21, 2016 04:00 AM EDT
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For some people, getting some action in the bedroom is a fun thing, but for parasites, it's tough love. Called traumatic insemination, this mating process for some insects involves the male parasite stabbing the female with its penis.
(Photo : Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library/Wikimedia Commons)

For some people, getting some action in the bedroom is a fun thing, but for parasites, it's tough love. Called traumatic insemination, this mating process for some insects involves the male parasite stabbing the female with its penis. Ouch!

National Geographic reports that this bizarre mating procedure is practiced among worms, spiders, bedbugs and a winged insect called S. ovinae. A recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports reveals how the painful traumatic insemination is done among the insects.

According to the study, due to the winged male's short lifespan of just a few hours ad the females lack of eyes, wings and genitalia, the male has to attach itself to the female and stab its body cavity with its hook-shaped penis. By stabbing the female's neck, sperm is inserted into the insect's body for egg fertilization.

But why do males specifically target the neck, you say? The researchers revealed that female S. ovinae has a fertilizing pocket in their necks to stage the sperm injection. However, the tough love doesn't end there. Once the female S. ovinae yields an offspring, the larvae abandons the female after eating her alive.

Michael Siva-Jothy of the U.K.'s University of Sheffield, said "This is a really elegant and clever study that adds a new piece of evidence to what we know about traumatic insemination."

It's also the same situation among bedbugs. A 2000 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America says that different from neck pockets among S. ovinae, male bedbugs stab and inject their sperm in the abdominal wall of female bedbugs, wounding the latter.

Also, female bedbugs do not necessarily benefit from the mating process, saying that "traumatic insemination is probably a coercive male copulatory strategy that results in a sexual conflict of interests."

For a more closer look of this wildy weird copulation among insects, watch the video below:

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