Janet L. Over the last years, research has established that a sexual selection exists and is widespread in the plant and animal kingdoms; b it does not necessarily entail sexual dimorphism; even hermaphrodites have it; c it does not require intelligence or a sophisticated sense of esthetics; even tapeworms and plants choose mates; and d it does not require brawn or even mobility for competition; plants may compete for pollinators, and broadcast spawning invertebrates may also compete for matings. Although discussions of sexual selection often focus on sexual dimorphism, several phenomena that are commonly associated with sexual selection are widespread and highly developed in hermaphrodites. These phenomena include a bizarre and expensive courtship and copulatory behavior, b multiple mating and sperm competition, c rapid evolution of genitalia, d special structures associated with courtship, and e sexual polymorphism.
Hermaphrodite insects fertilise daughters with parasitic sperm
All rights reserved. The life of the cottony cushion scale insect reads like something from the most ridiculous of tabloid newspapers. Dad leaves parasitic body parts in his own daughter, which produce sperm that fertilise her eggs. He is both father and grandfather to his own grandchildren. On top of that, these insects are mostly hermaphrodites. With the exception of the odd pure male, almost every individual is both male and female.
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For example, the great majority of tunicates , pulmonate snails, opisthobranch snails , earthworms , and slugs are hermaphrodites. Hermaphroditism is also found in some fish species and to a lesser degree in other vertebrates. Most plants are also hermaphrodites. Historically, the term hermaphrodite has also been used to describe ambiguous genitalia and gonadal mosaicism in individuals of gonochoristic species, especially human beings.