Animal behaviour: Female wētā bugs have two units of genitals and eat male ejaculate

Female short-tailed floor wētās have two units of genitals, one to obtain sperm and the opposite to obtain further ejaculate that they eat to outlive parenting


7 April 2022

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Wētā bugs on a leaf

Darryl Gwynne/University of Toronto

Females of a cricket-like insect present in New Zealand eat male ejaculate after intercourse to offer them sufficient power for the next six months of parenting, after they don’t eat. The measurement of the secondary genitals they use to gather ejaculate could also be associated to their success in mating.

Short-tailed floor wētās (Hemiandrus pallitarsis) are discovered on the North Island in New Zealand. Darryl Gwynne on the University of Toronto in Canada has spent many years learning the bugs after first observing …

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