The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Manual extrusion

Of course you have always wondered what it looks like when you manually extrude the spermatophylax from a male Gryllodes sigillatus decorated cricket. Well, here it is.

Male G. sigillatus produce both a capsule filled with sperm (ampulla) and a large gelatinous structure called a spermatophylax. After mating, the spermatophylax covers the ampulla. The female removes the spermatophylax and eats it, which prevents her from removing the ampulla before all of the male's sperm has been transferred.


Anonymous said...

That's dirty. And gross. But, are humans less dirty and gross? Gosh, I'm not gonna think too long about that one, because we are probably gross too. Except that I personally don't perform analingus, you?

Susan said...

Wow Kim--get yer mid out of the gutter!
First of all, crickets do not have an anus and the spermatophylax is coming out of a compartment behind the male's genital plate. I have no idea what is in the spermatophylax, but they must be tasty. Crickets will almost always eat them if given the chance. Crickets will try to steal them from each other, which is why the male guards the spermatophylax as the female eats it.
Second, don't birds do a variety of equally nasty things? Male dunnocks peck the females' cloacas to get them to release ejaculates from earlier matings. Also, don't domestic chickkens engage in "cloacal cannibalism" in which they peck each other's privates causing injury and sometimes death?
Food for thought...

matthew p. said...

wow, i could have lived my whole life without having to know that. thanks, susan!