Photo: "Torture" Phalluses Give Beetles Reproductive Edge



A female C. maculatus seed beetle (above right) mating with a male (left) tries to free herself by kicking him with her hind legs.

It's not easy: Male beetles have long and spiny genitalia that may act as anchors.

In a study to be published in March 2009, researchers found that individuals with the longest members are more successful in reproducing than their less endowed rivals.

(View more photographs of the beetles.)

--Photograph courtesy of Fleur Champion de Crespigny

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