26 November 2015

Tiny Penis Drumsticks

Like so many other crickets, a Roesel’s bush cricket sings to attract his mate. But his courtship doesn’t stop once a female finds him. As they have sex he’ll use a pair of tiny drumsticks on his genitals to show her he’s the rhythm master she wants to father her young. The structures are called titillators; they’re small stiff rods that sit at the base of the penis and are inserted into a female during sex ...
The drumming seems to be an important sexual step for this cricket. Females often tried to stop mating with males whose titillators had been removed–especially in the males who were left with only one drumstick. And even when the females put up with their rhythm-impaired mates, the males were less successful in getting their sperm to stick.
Read the rest of the story here.

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