8 animals that don’t practice safe sex

2014-03-17 14:09

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – As a species human beings are obsessed about sex, it’s hard to believe that some species find the whole sex think far from fun.

Two new papers on reproduction say that for some species sex is a war zone involving a dance to the death. Here is a list of eight animals that don't practice safe sex. 

Number one

A zoologist in 1897 named Constantino Ribaga discovered an organ in female bedbugs in their abdomen. The scientist at first thought that the organ was used to produce sound however it was later discovered that a bundle of cells beneath the organ had large amounts of sperm.

In 1913 scientist observed a male bedbug stabbing a female with a syringe like penis in order to inseminate the female with sperm. This process was termed traumatic insemination.

In a paper by Rolanda Lange at the University of Sheffield it is argued that similar behaviour can be seen by other invertebrates.

Number two

Snails are hermaphrodites and during sex they secrete mucus known as a love dart that is blasted at potential mates. Scientists observed that the female role (the snail who receives the blast) is the role most snails avoid.


Number three

Sea slugs play a game of penis fencing, where each slug tries to stab the other with its penis in order to inseminate the other with sperm.

In a paper by Nik Tatarnic from the Western Australian Museum it suggests that stabbing by arthropods is a game-changing tactic used by males.

Insemination is just part of the mating process, fertilisation is more crucial and females need to control who fertilises their eggs and when this happens.

Some females are so successful at choosing which sperm fertilises their eggs, it’s unbelievable. For example some females use their reproductive tract to screen the sperm they want or even purposefully close their entire tract.

This process mostly occurs in insects where the females hold on to the sperm is special sacs.

Males obviously want the females to fertilise their eggs with its sperm so they have to win the female over by courtship or by doing outlandish acts like blocking the females up or scooping a rival’s sperm out.

Number four

A Male fruit fly does something really interesting; he spikes the female with his sperm so that she is drugged into releasing more eggs even though this shortens the female’s life.

Fruit fly

Number five

Female wood mice have mucus that prevents weak sperm from coming near their eggs so the male mice team up and create a long snake that pushes one sperm through the mucus.

Number six

The male myzostoma worm lets out a corrosive enzyme that burns a hole into the females skin so the male can inseminate her with his sperm.

Number seven

The Giant male squid squirts huge sperm packets that become attached to the arms of the female.

Giant squid

Number eight

Male harpactea sadistica spiders bite the females then inject their semen into the wound with their penis.
Read more on:    cape town  |  animals

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.