Sexual behavior in the flatworm: The art of penis fencing

“It’s known as penis fencing and the worms are the swordsmen.”

This commentary precedes live footage of penis fencing in the flatworm genus Pseudobiceros which are hermaphroditic; they possess both male and female “junk.” During the act of penis fencing, two daggerlike penises emerge from each respective flatworm, and these flatworms engage in a duel until traumatic insemination ensues; insemination and subsequent fertilization by puncturing the body [snails traumatic inseminate too]. The “winner” is the first flatworm to puncture and inseminate, while the “loser” is left to fertilize and conceive.

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