- News Home
13 March 2014 11:08 am ,
Vol. 343 ,
In the shadow of the crisis in Crimea, Ukrainian legislators are weighing a pair of science and education bills that...
Researchers dependent on government funding would face a flat future under the White House's $3.9 trillion budget...
Reservoirs of cells that harbor HIV DNA woven into human chromosomes have become the bane of researchers trying to cure...
Geochemists have now incorporated in their models some details of the way naturally acidic rainwater dissolves rock...
Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disorder that afflicts about 1% of the world's population at one time or another...
Surface tension is a force to be reckoned with, especially if you are small. It enables a water strider to skate along...
- 13 March 2014 11:08 am , Vol. 343 , #6176
- About Us
ScienceShot: Sex and the Single Insect
15 July 2011 5:00 pm
The female scale insect (Icerya purchasi) is an independent woman. She carries her own sperm—harbored in tissue passed down through the generations—so she doesn't need a male to have her babies. Scientists have long believed that this unique procreation strategy—scale insects are the only hermaphroditic insects and the only animal in the world to employ such a sperm packet—is harmful to the female, as the "sperm packet" consumes resources in her body that she could otherwise devote to making more eggs. But a new analysis, to be published next month in The American Naturalist, suggests that there are advantages to being single. By using her own sperm instead of mating with a male, the female keeps all of her family's genes in her bloodline. The strategy, however, may not be so good for the few males left in scale insect populations: They're becoming obsolete and may eventually go extinct.
See more ScienceShots.