The phrase bedbugs invokes images of creepy, crawling, contagious blood sucking insects that have embarked on an outbreak across the United States appearing everywhere from hotels to movie theaters to office buildings. And while many Manhattanites and visitors may know to avoid Time Square movie theaters like the plague, what many people don’t know is the intricate sex life of the bedbug. Featured in the exhibition The Sex Lives of Animals, the bedbug penis has evolved to stab into the stomach of a female bedbug, injecting semen straight into her bloodstream. In fact, many male bedbugs will fight, discharging semen into another male, so that when a female is impregnated it is often with the semen of a different male bedbug. To prevent conception, females have counter-evolved by developing a spongy reservoir, into which males attempt insemination, preventing the semen from ever entering the bloodstream.
To learn more about bedbug sex take a look at this clip from the Daily Show which shows Jon Stewart’s reaction to watching Isabella Rossellini act out how male bedbug impregnate females.
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