School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Mating

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  • Aedeagus: the male organ of insects used to transfer sperm.
  • Antennae: the long, thin structures on the head.
  • Fertilize: when a sperm and an egg join.
  • Genital opening: the body opening that leads to the reproductive tract.
  • Reproductive tract: the organs inside a female involved with making offspring.
  • Sperm: a male gamete, which only transfers its DNA to the egg... more

How Beetles Mate

Beetles mating

All beetles reproduce sexually, where the offspring are created by the joining of sperm from the father and eggs from the mother. When a male locates a female, he will usually start to court the female in a very specific way. He quickly strokes his antennae and his front pair of legs on the female's back while crawling on top of her. If the female accepts the male, the male will insert his adeagous into the female's genital opening and transfer a package of sperm. The sperm are stored in the female's reproductive tract and are used to fertilize eggs that develop. After mating, the male leaves the female and does not give any help in raising the offspring. The female will later lay the eggs that the male has fertilized, and the new individual begins its life.

Adult Tenebrio molitor

Adult (Tenebrio molitor) beeltle.

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Adult Tenebrio molitor

Adult (Tenebrio molitor) beeltle.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.