Traumatic Insemination

No, it's not the latest bête noire of human-rights activists, it's how bed bugs mate. I ran across this description (pdf) while doing some entomological research for a friend, and I'm going to share it with you because . . . well, because I need help, that's why:

Bed bug mating is extremely peculiar. The female has a notch on the underside of her abdomen known as the Ribaga's organ–an invagination of the body wall. Males have a single laterally-placed dagger-like paramere (clasper)–a fearsome-looking organ. Bed bugs mate, unusually for bugs, with both individuals facing forwards. The male puts this paramere inside the entrance to the Ribaga's organ and literally pierces the body wall of the female. The spermatozoa migrate through the haemocoel (blood equivalent) to the genital tract. The terminology for this is apt–'traumatic insemination'.

6 thoughts on “Traumatic Insemination

  1. The love dart method found in snails seems to be slightly more romantic:

    “As the snails approach mating, hydraulic pressure builds up in the blood sinus surrounding the organ housing the dart. Each snail manoeuvres to get its genital pore in the best position, close to the other snail’s body. Then, when the body of one snail touches the other snail’s genital pore, it triggers the firing of the dart. The darting can sometimes be so forceful that the dart ends up buried in the internal organs.(…)After both snails have fired their darts, the snails copulate and exchange sperm.”

    …and live happily everafter!


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