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Cimicids belong to a hematophagous taxon that feeds primarily on the blood of humans, birds and bats. Their best known member is the bed bug, Cimex lectularius, which parasitizes humans. In bed bugs and other cimicids, a bizarre form of mating behavior called traumatic insemination takes place in which males pierce females through the abdominal region and inseminate directly into the body cavity. This mating practice is thought to have evolved due to differences in the evolutionary interests of the two sexes, in which fitness does not increase with the number of matings in females, but does increase in males. A variety of hypotheses have arisen to explain the evolution of traumatic insemination, including bypassing the mating plug and overcoming female resistance during mating, which would be reproductively advantageous to males. Regardless of its evolutionary origin, traumatic insemination has been shown to propel male and female coevolution. In the case of the bed bug, females have evolved a spermalege, an organ that serves as a counter-adaptation to the damage caused by the males’ intromittent organs that deliver sperm during copulation. These observations have led scientists to regard cimicids, C. lectularius in particular, as ideal model systems for examining the causes and consequences of sexual selection.

Author: Christine Sun


In the animal kingdom, mating interactions are frequently marked by conflict (Johnston&Keller 2000). In sexually reproducing organisms, both the male and the female have conflicting strategies in optimizing reproductive fitness (Morrow et al. 2003). Although male fitness increases with the number of matings, female fitness is not increased and is often lowered. At the same time, however, the two sexes must meet somewhere in the middle to be able to successfully produce offspring. As a result, sexual conflict often leads to an evolutionary arms race between males and females (Rice&Holland 1997; Morrow et al. 2003; Lessells 2006). As Dawkins and Krebs phrased it, “as swords get sharper, so shields get thicker, so swords get sharper still”(Dawkins&Krebs 1979). One organism that displays sexual conflict is the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius .

The bed bug, which belongs to the Cimicidae family, has been known to parasitize humans for more than four million years (Reinhardt&Siva-Jothy 2007). While the organism itself is relatively common, the bed bug’s particular mating behavior is rarely found in other species. Although bed bugs have fully functional reproductive tracts, they reproduce solely by traumatic insemination (Usinger 1966 as cited by Reinhardt&Siva-Jothy 2007).

During traumatic insemination, the male pierces the female’s abdomen with his knifelike intromittent organ and injects his sperm through the wound into her hemocoel , the cavity that contains the hemolymph . The sperm travels throughout the female’s hemolymph and eventually reaches the ovaries, resulting in fertilization (Carayon 1966 as cited by Reinhardt&Siva-Jothy 2007).

Questions & Answers

what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
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Source:  OpenStax, Mockingbird tales: readings in animal behavior. OpenStax CNX. Jan 12, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11211/1.5
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