NCBI ROFL: Traumatic insemination and sexual conflict in the bed bug Cimex lectularius.

By ncbi rofl | January 4, 2011 7:00 pm

It’s insect week on NCBI ROFL! All week long we’ll be featuring the funniest scientific papers about our favorite creepy crawlies. Enjoy!

“The bed bug, Cimex lectularius, has a unique mode of copulation termed “traumatic” insemination [Carayon, J. (1966) in Monograph of the Cimicidae, ed. Usinger, R. (Entomol. Soc. Am., Philadelphia), pp. 81-167] during which the male pierces the female’s abdominal wall with his external genitalia and inseminates into her body cavity [Carayon, J. (1966) in Monograph of the Cimicidae, ed. Usinger, R. (Entomol. Soc. Am., Philadelphia), pp. 81-167].Under controlled natural conditions, traumatic insemination was frequent and temporally restricted. We show for the first time, to our knowledge, that traumatic insemination results in (i) last-male sperm precedence, (ii) suboptimal remating frequencies for the maintenance of female fertility, and (iii) reduced longevity and reproductive success in females. Experimental females did not receive indirect benefits from multiple mating. We conclude that traumatic insemination is probably a coercive male copulatory strategy that results in a sexual conflict of interests.”

And in case you haven’t seen it, here’s a bonus creepy Isabella Rossellini video about bedbug sex:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MakIB_IJnu0

Photo: from article.

Related content:
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Nothing like a thin coat of earwax to keep the bugs away.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Beer Consumption Increases Human Attractiveness to Malaria Mosquitoes.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Ants in your pants?

WTF is NCBI ROFL? Read our FAQ!

  • http://www.twitter.com/writerweegs Laurie

    Yuck.

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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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