Filed under Insect reproduction

Mosquito sperm need to smell to swim

Mosquito sperm need to smell to swim

You’ve probably had someone tell you, at some point in your life, that the sense of smell is the sense most tightly linked to memory. Now, scientists have found that at least for mosquitoes, the sense of smell is also linked to the ability of their sperm to swim. The research was published in February in … Continue reading

STD puts crickets in the mood

STD puts crickets in the mood

Imagine an STD that made you extra eager for sex. Oh, and it makes you sterile. This STD exists—in insects. Researchers working in a lab that studies field crickets came into work one day only to find, much to their dismay I imagine, that their colony had been infected with a virus. But, as they … Continue reading

A story of sex and fly poop

A story of sex and fly poop

Scientists know a lot about fly sex. Maybe too much. We know how male fruit flies woo their mates. We’ve picked apart the seminal fluid to study all of the molecules in it. We know what happens to the female after sex–and how it can even make her sick. And we know what happens to … Continue reading

Video of fruit fly development in 3D

Video of fruit fly development in 3D

A new technique developed by Lars Hufnagel’s group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory gives us a look at fruit fly development–from fertilized egg to crawling larva. Check out the full story here.

Slicing up seminal proteins

Slicing up seminal proteins

While I don’t doubt that you have all been eagerly awaiting an update to my ‘Publications’ page, some of you may not have noticed that it has finally arrived. After only about 5 and half years in graduate school, I finally have my very own first-author research article. Why did it take so long? Believe … Continue reading

Get in my spermathecae!

Get in my spermathecae!

You may notice that this paper has been out for a while already, even though I really should have been excited to blog about it right away, given its importance for my field of study. But, lately, research has kept me too busy to actually sit down and write a decent post about it. So, … Continue reading

Wolbachia gives eggs a boost

Wolbachia gives eggs a boost

Wolbachia are a type of bacteria that live inside the cells of many animals, but mostly insects. They are passed on from mother to child through the mother’s eggs. They can often be bad for the insect host: they might kill all male offspring, destroy the host’s gonads, or make it harder for the host … Continue reading

Chivalry is not dead, at least among crickets

Chivalry is not dead, at least among crickets

Males of many species “guard” females after they’ve mated, presumably to prevent them from mating with other males. But in the cricket Gryllus campestris, males have a more noble intent when they guard their mate: to save her from being eaten. Researchers Rolando Rodriguez-Muñoz, Amanda Bretman, and Tom Tregenza in England observed crickets in their … Continue reading

Patience is a virtue for invading wasp females

Patience is a virtue for invading wasp females

In social insects, like honey bees, the queen is usually the only one making babies. All other females are subordinate and sterile.The reason natural selection doesn’t weed out this behavior is thought to be because all the subordinate females are nearly genetically identical to the queen. In other words, as long as the queen is … Continue reading

Inbred females have more fun

Inbred females have more fun

Female red flour beetles (Tribolium castaneum) shouldn’t want to mate more than once. They get enough sperm from a single male to fertilize all their eggs, and mating with multiple males can actually harm them. So why do many red flour beetle females mate multiple times? New research published this week in Science provides one … Continue reading

Gametes to spare–two stories for you!

Gametes to spare–two stories for you!

I haven’t been doing that much interwebbing lately, but I thought it would be best not to skip the weekly links again. However, I hesitate to call this a link “roundup” seeing as I only have 2 stories for today: sperm-shooting squid and egg-stacking beetles.

Around the interwebs: Weekly link roundup!

Around the interwebs: Weekly link roundup!

Another week, another batch of links and sciency tidbits! Tomorrow I’m leaving for vacation, so I might not be able to update much (and I’ve been pretty busy this week), so there is plenty to keep you busy here: Making sperm in the lab, little squids that make big sperm, killing sperm to stop malaria, the costs … Continue reading

Will male cottony cushion scales survive their own mating strategy?

Will male cottony cushion scales survive their own mating strategy?

A friend of mine just brought my attention to this article in the New York Times Science section today. An insect known as the cottony cushion scale (Icerya purchasi) exists in two sexes: hermaphrodites and males. Here’s the twist: the hermaphrodites are females infected with the parasitic tissue of a male (her “father”). This parasitic tissue is able to act as the male part of … Continue reading

Size matters for fruit flies

Size matters for fruit flies

When males are competing with each other for fertilization of a female’s eggs, which counts more: the number of sperm, or the size of each sperm? You might wonder why a guy can’t have it all but, alas, nature does make restrictions on how much energy one can devote to pumping out sperm. So which … Continue reading