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Open AccessArticle

How Does the Male Penisfilum Enter the Female Copulatory Pore in Hangingflies?

Key Laboratory of Plant Protection Resources and Pest Management, Ministry of Education, College of Plant Protection, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(2), 123;
Received: 30 December 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2020 / Accepted: 10 February 2020 / Published: 14 February 2020
Hangingflies are characterized by the interesting nuptial feeding behavior and unusual belly-to-belly hanging mating position. However, the mating behavior and the copulatory mechanism remain poorly known for Bittacidae, especially how the elongated male penisfilum enters the copulatory pore of the female. In this study, the mating behavior and copulatory mechanism of Terrobittacus implicatus (Huang and Hua, 2006) were investigated to reveal the functional morphology of hangingfly genitalia. The results show that the male provides a prey as a nuptial gift to the female and twists his abdomen about 180° to form a belly-to-belly hanging mating position. During the penisfilum-entering process, the male epandrial lobes clamp the female subgenital plate with the aid of the female abdomen swelling. Then the male locates the female copulatory pore through his upper branch of the proctiger and inserts his penisfilum into the female spermathecal duct in cooperation with the short setae on the groove of the proctiger. The female subgenital plate where the epandrial lobes clamp is strongly sclerotized and melanized. The copulatory mechanism of Terrobittacus is briefly discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: abdomen; twist; swelling; genital morphology; copulatory mechanism abdomen; twist; swelling; genital morphology; copulatory mechanism
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Wei, Z.; Tong, X.; Hua, B.-Z. How Does the Male Penisfilum Enter the Female Copulatory Pore in Hangingflies? Insects 2020, 11, 123.

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