Filed under Sexual behavior

An oral pheromone makes male wasps unattractive to females

An oral pheromone makes male wasps unattractive to females

Communication is essential to any successful relationship, and insect relationships are no different. In insect (as in human) relationships, much of this communication is non-verbal.  Chemical cues in the form of pheromones help females of many insect species decide when to mate, who to make with and, when the deed is done, other chemicals let them … Continue reading

Don’t stress out your testicles!

Don’t stress out your testicles!

You probably don’t need science to tell you that when you’re stressed out you’re not likely to be in the mood. But can stress cause physical damage to your reproductive cells? A study published this month in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that it just might. Rats aren’t all that different from people. They … 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

OMG. Sugar is poison!?

OMG. Sugar is poison!?

Toxic. It’s a bad word, right? If something is toxic, or poison, it will kill you. Period. Arsenic? Poison. Water? Not poison. See? Easy! How about this one: sugar. Well, if we’re to believe everything we read in the media, sugar is one of the worst poisons there is. And you’re killing yourself with it … Continue reading

Update to duck penis science

Update to duck penis science

Back in 2011, I posted a video about duck penis research. Sadly, that video is gone. But I replaced it with another showing how the duck penis can break through several types of materials in the shape of duck ladyparts. Check it out here, along with a link to an article posted on Slate today … Continue reading

The secret sex of cheese

The secret sex of cheese

Are you grossed out by blue cheese? (I’m not, but I know many who are). Does that blue-green marbling of delicious fungus kind of make you gag? Well, this little factoid probably won’t help: there may be sex going on in that cheese. Until pretty recently, a big chunk of fungal species were thought to … 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

Older worms have more sex appeal

Older worms have more sex appeal

C. elegans are tiny worms that exist as hermaphrodites or rare males. A male rubs against a hermaphrodite with the mating apparatus on his tails and if he thinks she’s sexy enough, he’ll try to mate with her. And what turns on a male worm? Answer: an older lady. No one knows what the male … 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

Correction–Frog sex!

Correction–Frog sex!

In my last post I stated that because frogs(Xenopus laevis) have external fertilization, there would be no frog sex pictures. Well, I was wrong! These frogs do, in fact, “mate”, but not in the way you’re used to thinking about it. Instead of penetrating the female to inseminate her, the male instead grasps the female from behind with “nuptial pads” … Continue reading