New Genitalia-Headed Fish Is Evolutionary Mystery

Phallostethus cuulong is only the 22nd known species of its family, Phallostethidae, all of which bear their copulatory organs just behind their mouths.

As with all Phallostethus—“penis chest” in Greek—species, the male uses its bony “priapium” to clasp a female while he inserts sperm into her urogenital opening, also located on the head, said Lynne Parenti, curator of fishes at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Parenti remembers seeing another species of priapiumfish mate at a lab in Singapore. Attached at the head and together forming a v, the fish “looked like a little pair of scissors, darting around the tank together,” she said.

For many fish, such as guppies, mating is almost instantaneous, but priapiumfish “actually couple, staying together for a remarkable period of time,” she noted.

source : http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/08/120827-genitalia-head-fish-sex-animals-science/?source=hp_dl2_news_genitalia_head_fish20120828





Leave a Reply