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How Can I Mate Without An Appendix Masculina? The Case of Sphaeroma Terebrans Bate, 1866 (isopoda, Sphaeromatidae)

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Several hours mating behaviour of the woodborer isopod, Sphaeroma terebrans were recorded using a video camera. S. terebrans, the only species in the genus to lack an appendix masculina, has a peculiar way of mating that is completely different from that in other Isopoda. Instead of introducing the sperm into the genital opening of the female, the male releases it into the water current created by the beating of the female pleopods. The origin of this adaptation is discussed.

Il comportamento sessuale dell'isopode Sphaeroma terebrans, è stato filmato per diverse ore, attraverso una telecamera. S. terebrans, l'unica specie del genere ad essere sprovvista di una appendix masculina, ha un modo di accoppiarsi del tutto particolare che è completamente differente da quello degli altri isopodi. Il maschio invece di introdurre lo sperma nella apertura genitale femminile, lo rilascia nella corrente d'acqua creata dal battito dei pleopodi. L'origine di questo adattamento viene discussa.


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