Putting the heat on insect reproduction
Kris Sales & Matt Gage, University of East Anglia
Scientists at the University of East Anglia studying insects used heatwave simulations and observed a reduced ability of male ejaculates to penetrate and persist in the female reproductive tract. The impacts of heatwaves on male reproduction could help explain climate related extinctions in insects. Images are red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) female reproductive tracts containing two sperm storage areas, the large central bursa and the small complex spermatheca. The green areas in the image are occupied by sperm expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) in their heads, which allows their distribution to be visualised. The intensity and size of the green area is lower in females mated to heated males (red border).