Two species of Tahitian plant insects, known for their traumatic insemination mating system, may be responsible for today’s rich diversity of life.
In this traumatic insemination, the male bug pierces the side of the female’s body with his hypodermic genitalia and then inseminates directly into her abdomen. Such a damaging mating method is costly and could lead to death.
To ensure reproductive success, the risk of interbreeding is reduced by having the two species possess different forms of paragenitalia and inseminated through different parts of the body.
Here, sexual selection and interspecies interactions work together to keep species apart, and may even drive the creation of new species.