Flea penis, coloured SEM

Flea penis, coloured SEM

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This image is part of the feature Battle Of The Insect Sexes

Credit: POWER AND SYRED/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Flea penis. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a penis extracted from the body of a flea (Ceratophyllus farrieni). The penis is normally concealed as a coil within the abdomen of the flea. During mating, the male attaches himself to the female with his antennae and genital claspers. The male is then able to uncoil his penis and penetrate the female. The portion of the male reproductive organs involved in penetration are known as the aedeagus. Mating can last from one to nine hours. Fleas (Order: Siphonaptera ) are small, wingless, blood sucking insects that parasitize a variety of birds and mammals. Magnification: x142 at 10cm wide.

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Keywords: aedeagus, anatomical, anatomy, animal, biological, biology, ceratophyllus farrieni, coloured, ecto parasite, entomology, false-coloured, fauna, flea, genital, genitalia, genitals, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, male, mating, nature, one, penis, phallus, reproductive structure, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, sex, sexual organ, sexual reproduction, single, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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