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Homework Help: Sex/≈gender of insects that reproduce only asexually

  1. Sep 29, 2016 #1


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    Hello, everyone.

    I'm not sure if this counts as "homework", since it's just a random question I have, but I don't think the topic of this thread is "deep" enough to be in another forum category, so I hope I placed this in the right place.

    Having said that, I wanted to ask the following.:
    Are insects that reproduce only asexually sexless/≈genderless, all females, or what?

    I suspect that they are all females, because if I'm correct, it is only the female gender which has ovums, but the ovums do not need to be fertilized for reproduction to occur. Am I (100%) correct (including my reasoning)?

    Any input would be GREATLY appreciated!

    I put the "≈" to the left of "genderless", because, according to Wiktionary.org's sex and gender pages, "since the 1960s, it is increasingly common—particularly in academic contexts—to distinguish between sex and gender, the former being taken as inherent biological distinctions and the latter as constructed social and cultural ones."

    Basically, I am only referring to the sex (unless gender is interpreted as a synonym for sex).

    Also, I didn't use the forum template, since I don't think my question fits it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2016 #2


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    Animals that would normally be expected to reproduce sexually, but make use of only one sex for reproduction are usually females and they reproduce parthanogenically.
    The females make eggs and may or may not make use of sperm from either their own species of a closely related species to activate the egg and start development. The same females, in some cases will breed with males normally. This all makes them females.
    I am not very familiar with these kind of occurrences in insects, but there are certainly some among the fish, with a diversity of mechanisms to handle the genetics. .

    Basically they have to be able to make an egg. An egg is required for the complex developmental processes to occur unless an offspring can be generated by something like budding, such as can occur in hydra.
  4. Sep 30, 2016 #3

    Simon Bridge

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    The gender of the species depends on the specific method use for asexual reproduction... ie see sexual parasitism.
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