Just when you thought bed bugs couldn't get creepier, Lyndzee Rhine takes us down a rabbit hole of traumatic, violent sex. This sexual arms race involves infections, incest, sexually reproductive male-on-male stabbings, and (of course) stabby penises. Give your hard-working house spider a grateful thumbs up and buckle up for bed bugs.
Bed bugs! Who else gets whole-body shivers when you think about them??
If Isabella Rossellini's summation up there felt uncomfortable, just wait until you see the real deal. Hopefully you've already listened to our episode on the Stabby Penis.
Not pictured, his penis stabbing her in the abdomen. Romantic.
The main study I referenced is attached as a PDF. I'll highlight some of the best stuff below, but go check it out for even more detail on bed bugs and other invertebrate sexual conflicts.
That notch in Fig. 7 is where the spermalege (the organ unique to bed bugs) is located and where the males will target their stabbings.
A second study came up several times and was referenced by the primary paper attached: Traumatic insemination and sexual conflict in the bed bug Cimex lectularius (2001), which has some great information and images of the organs in question.
Need more bed bug in your life? Weird. Here's some further reading: