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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

Gender-bending insect species discovered in Brazil

•, ByDanielle Elliot

And these are no typical penises; they feature spikes that anchor the female into the male. During their 70-hour marathon mating sessions, they work like vacuum cleaners, sucking sperm out of the male vaginas.

"There's nothing that [this] can be compared to," study co-author Rodrigo Ferreira told National Geographic. "This elaborate female penis is completely unique." His research was published April 17 in the journal Current Biology.

A cave specialist at the Federal University of Lavras in Brazil, Ferreira collected the bugs in the caves of eastern Brazil in 2010 and sent them on to a lab at the Museum of the City of Geneva in Switzerland, where Charles Lienhard quickly determined that these species belonged to a new genus of insect. They named it Neotrogla. 

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