The spermatophore is a package of sperm passed from the male to the female in many species of invertebrate. The spermatophore may be passed directly from the male to the female through an appendage such as an aedeagus. This direct transfer is exhibited by many species of beetle.
Alternatively the male may deposit the spermatophore on the ground and then the female may then pick up the spermatophore. This kind of transfer is often found in arachnids (spiders and scorpions etc.).
A photograph of mating leaf insects. The spermatophore can be seen as a white ball towards the bottom of the photograph.
Photograph by Drägüs licensed under Creative Commons.
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