CLOUDS HILL IMAGING LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLOUDS HILL IMAGING LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bedbugs mating. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a pair of bedbugs mating. Bedbugs (Cimex lectularius) are blood sucking insects. Mating in bedbugs (and related families) is unique amongst the insects. The male (his abdomen seen on left side of image) does not introduce his sperm into the female's vaginal opening. Instead, as seen here, he punctures the body wall of one of the female's abdominal segments using his intromittent organ (coloured red) and deposits his sperm in a sac. The sperm then migrate through the body cavity to the seminal conceptacles, where they are stored ready for later fertilisation. This is called traumatic insemination.
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