I, for one, welcome our new torture-phallus overlords.

Torture Phalluses Give Beetles Reproductive Edge

Males with the longest and spiniest genitalia propagate their genes better than their less endowed rivals, a new study says.

Several species, especially among insects, are known to physically harm their mates in reproduction, but scientists aren't sure why these traits evolved.

The new research offers the first proof that dangerous genitalia in males can represent a reproductive advantage. The resulting wounds in the females, however, are likely just an "unfortunate side effect" of the strategy, Arnqvist said, and do not provide a reproductive benefit.

For instance, 20 to 30 seed beetle species have arisen whose males look nearly identical, but have wildly divergent sexual parts. "The male copulatory organ is the single [physical] trait that evolves very rapidly across animals," Arnqvist said.

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16 Responses:

  1. kencf0618 says:

    So much for God's putative inordinate fondness for beetles... Ouch!

  2. pfrank says:

    I bet they used the phalloblaster to get those closeups:


    "The Phalloblaster inflates the genitalia with a stream of pressurised alcohol to create the same shape as when the insect was alive."

    How great is that?!

  3. killbox says:

    reminds me of some spam titles, "U will rip her in half", "She will cry in pain and never want another man" Not sure who went in for these things but i think they may be form the same kingdom.

    • I'm still worried about the spammer a while ago who was selling something that would "fill my bedroom with fire".

      Maybe the message was intended for salamanders or phoenixes?

  4. phenyx says:

    Coming soon to the bmezine crowd.

  5. omni_ferret says:

    Sexually antagonistic coevolution covers ducks raping with penises twice the length of their body, & hypodermic genitalia - "Ignoring the female's reproductive tract entirely, the male bat bug instead pierces directly into her abdomen, a process called traumatic insemination."


  6. i_e_d says:

    Hmm Genotorturers, Cat Rapes Dog, Torture-Phallus?