FEMALE SQUID EAT SPERM TO BOOST FERTILIZATION
Female southern bottletail squid (Sepiadarium austrinum) have been observed eating the sperm and ejaculate of males, for their own health, and to improve egg production.
Females store the sperm packages, called spermatophores, for up to three weeks in an external pouch near the mouth, called the buccal cavity. A female extracts mature eggs from her own body and passes them over the spermatophores to fertilize them before depositing them in seaweed or rock crevices.
“If she is using the nutrients received from ejaculate consumption to develop her unfertilized eggs, he may even be helping the next male that mates with her,” said lead author Benjamin Wegener from Monash University in Melbourne.
The smaller females consume much more sperm than larger ones, and males show a preference for the larger females. Researchers believe the males could have a better chance at fertilization if less of their sperm is consumed.