There is nothing new with insects which has a dreadful spiky penises that brings harm to their mates. What is new is that new study in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology suggests that an insects which bears a dreadful spiky penis could harm not just their mates but also other different species.
Reproductive interference is a biological concept, to test this, researchers led by Daisuke Kyogoku at Kyoto University in Japan, used spiky penises of two closely related species of seed beetle.
The experiment of Kyoguku is to determine if genital difference can affect the competition between closely related species which lives in the same habitat as their is notion that courtship and sex can sometimes get a little confusing.
The test uses Callosobruchus maculatus and Callosobruchus chinensis and these two seed beetles don’t live in the same place as the Callosobruchus maculatus infests cowpeas in Africa while the latter infests adzuki beans in Asia therefore the test can be considered as a theoretical exercise.
WHAT RESEARCHER HAVE FOUND OUT
The Callosobruchus maculatus from Africa is better at grabbing food and egg laying sites than the Asian Callosobruchus chinensis. What happens when they are place together in a habitat inside the laboratory? The aforementioned African Callosobruchus maculatus died!
According to Kyoguku the African Callosobruchus maculatus died because of reproductive interference between the two species. In this particular case the interference was from the elongated penile spines of the Asian Callosobruchus chinensis.
The male Callosobruchus beetles have spiny penises and regardless of species, this male Callosobruchus beetle vigorously mate with any female. On the other hand the female beetles normally educe defense to the spiky penises of the their male counterpart. However, when the researchers investigate on the effect of cross-species intercourse. What they have found out is that the female African Callosobruchus maculatus genitalia were obviously damaged that it can’t even lay eggs despite that it is already full of Asian Callosobruchus chinensis sperms after the these two insects mated.
Pertaining to this discovery researchers derived with this conclusion penile spines, could help drive species apart.