A "spare" compensates for the risk of destruction of the elongated penis of earwigs (Insecta

Dermaptera)

Yoshitaka Kamimura, Yoh Matsuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Male animals in several groups have multiple intromittent organs that outnumber the corresponding female gonopore. In Dermaptera (earwigs), males of the family Anisolabididae have paired, elongated male intromittent organs (virgae), while females have a single sperm-storage organ (spermatheca). Several authors have assumed that one of the paired virgae is non-functional, because it points in the "wrong" direction. We investigated the mating success of handicapped males of Euborellia plebeja in which one of their paired virgae was removed experimentally. These handicapped males succeeded in inseminating a mate. Males with genital damage are found in the field, suggesting that the "spare" functions under natural conditions. Based on phylogenetic information on earwigs, we discuss possible evolutionary scenarios for this genital peculiarity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-471
Number of pages4
JournalNaturwissenschaften
Volume88
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dermaptera
penis
Penis
Insecta
Insects
Animals
Disabled Persons
genitalia
Euborellia
storage organs
spermatheca
mating success
sperm
Spermatozoa
Direction compound
spermatozoa
phylogenetics
damage
animal
phylogeny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Ecology

Cite this

A "spare" compensates for the risk of destruction of the elongated penis of earwigs (Insecta : Dermaptera). / Kamimura, Yoshitaka; Matsuo, Yoh.

In: Naturwissenschaften, Vol. 88, No. 11, 2001, p. 468-471.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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