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Why Did a Female Penis Evolve in a Small Group of Cave Insects?

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Title: Why Did a Female Penis Evolve in a Small Group of Cave Insects?
Authors: Yoshizawa, Kazunori Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Ferreira, Rodrigo L. Browse this author
Lienhard, Charles Browse this author
Kamimura, Yoshitaka Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Keywords: Afrotrogla
genital evolution
sex-role reversal
sexual selection
Issue Date: Jun-2019
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Journal Title: Bioessays
Volume: 41
Issue: 6
Start Page: 1900005
Publisher DOI: 10.1002/bies.201900005
PMID: 31099067
Abstract: The evolution of a female penis is an extremely rare event and is only known to have occurred in a tribe of small cave insects, Sensitibillini (Psocodea: Trogiomorpha: Prionoglarididae). The female penis, which is protrudable and inserted into the male vagina-like cavity during copulation to receive semen, is thought to have evolved independently twice in this tribe, in the Brazilian Neotrogla and the African Afrotrogla. These findings strongly suggest that there are some factors unique to Sensitibillini that have facilitated female penis evolution. Here, several hypothetical factors are presented that may have enabled the evolution of the female penis in Sensitibillini. The female-female competition for nutritious semen, the oligotrophic environment, and the twin insemination slots with switching valve are considered to be the driving factors for female penis evolution. Additionally, the following factors are considered responsible for relaxing the constraint against female penis evolution: preexistence of the female-above mating position, the elongated duct connecting the female pre-penis with the sperm storage organ, and the small male genital cavity accepting the female genital tubercle bearing the opening of this duct. Understanding the factors enabling female penis evolution may also shed light on the evolution of the male penis.
Rights: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Why Did a Female Penis Evolve in a Small Group of Cave Insects?; Bioessays 41(6), June 2019, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Type: article (author version)
Appears in Collections:農学院・農学研究院 (Graduate School of Agriculture / Faculty of Agriculture) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

Submitter: 吉澤 和徳

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