One would not wish to be a female bat bug. Male bat bugs (blood-sucking insects of the family Cimicidae) have developed the disconcerting habit of ignoring females’ conventional girlie bits, instead using their sharp penises to stab target females in the stomach, injecting sperm directly into the bloodstream.
In response, females have developed “paragenitals,” which guide the offending male’s piercing member into reservoir of spongey immune cells. But this is far from the end of the story.
According to a report from National Geographic,* scientests who ventured into dangerous bat caves in East Africa to study the bugs were surprised at what they found ” We ended up uncovering a hotbed of deception,” says evolutionary biologist Klaus Reinhardt at the University of Sheffield in England; “nothing like this exists anywhere else in the animal kingdom.”
Because the rampant males aren’t just targeting females; there are, according to the same study, “documented cases of males performing the same injurious sexual acts on other males,” to less reproductive avail and the considerable confusion of their victims.
So, what’s a bat bug to do? In this case, male bat bugs have developed their own “female” paragenitals to avoid the assaults; not to be outdone, certain exceedingly clever female bat bugs have developed the ability to mimic the paragenitals of males to improve their own defenses. the author of BV attempted to make contact with someone who could shed light on this tangled web , but Julie Andrews, star of the hit film “Victor, Victoria,” was unavailable for comment.
This, dear readers, is not mere gender-bending, its survival drag.