Last-male paternity of Euborellia plebeja, an earwig with elongated genitalia and sperm-removal behavior

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Both sexes of the earwig Euborellia plebeja (Dermaptera: Anisolabididae) mate frequently. The elongated intromittent organs of males are as long as their bodies. Previous studies have revealed that this organ is used to remove rival sperm from the female sperm-storage organ (spermatheca), the length of which is twice that of the female body. The fitness benefit of sperm removal was quantified using two mating experiments with paternity analysis. As expected, given that the sperm-removal organ is shorter than the sperm-storage organ, males gained only about 20% of paternity per single mating with sperm-saturated females. The significance of frequent repeated matings with the same female by males is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ethology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Anisolabididae
  • Earwigs
  • Euborellia plebeja
  • Last male paternity
  • Multiple matings
  • Sperm competition
  • Sperm displacement
  • Sperm storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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