Intelligent Design

Extinction? Scale insect female carries own sperm

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Thumbnail for version as of 17:00, 8 February 2007
/Vijay Cavale

An insect every gardener hates, the female scale insect

carries her own sperm—harbored in tissue passed down through the generations—so she doesn’t need a male to have her babies.

– Natalie Villacorta, “ScienceShot: Sex and the Single Insect,” Science, 15 July 2011

Scientists differ as to whether this is a good strategy, but a recent finding is that males may be going extinct as a result. If so, there is no more recruitment for the gene pool, in which case …

2 Replies to “Extinction? Scale insect female carries own sperm

  1. 1
    SCheesman says:

    Scientists differ as to whether this is a good strategy

    Does everyone else find this sentence as funny as I do?

    My flippant reply would be “well it seems to be working pretty well so far!”

    When everything in biology is cast in terms of its survival benefit, it can lead to some pretty remarkable discussions!

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    Ok, so the sperm came from the female? If not, in what sense is the sperm the female’s own sperm?

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