The aedeagus is the reproductive organ of male insects. It is attached to the abdomen and used to deliver sperm in to the female insect during reproduction.
In some damselflies the aedeagus is spiny and shaped so that it can be used to remove sperm from previous matings from within the female damselfly.
In some species, for example some crickets, the aedeagus is also used to release a spermatophylax. The spermatophylax is a gelatinous substance that the female insect consumes and this provides sustenance to the female.
A photograph of the aedeagus of the beetle Tormissus linsi.
Photograph by S.E. Thorpe.
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