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Yay my second alien sex question, I hope I am not arrested.

Context

Okay now to nitty gritty, So I got an intelligent species of Ostrich/flamingo looking creatures(this refers only to the shape, very few other aspects are like them)called the QiLokzmcs. And their method of reproduction involves a hybrid of the methods of the dart slug, bed bug, and the octopus. Basically what occurs is the males and females live in separate colonies and societies and for their mating rituals the males ambush a group of females and impregnate them with the hundreds of love darts around their neck that look like thick hairs. It doesn't matter where it hits them just as long as it does, just like bed bugs. these darts are more like tentacles as they are not hard and have little brains inside them which coordinate the darts on how to proceed.

Question

What pressures and reasons would cause this reproductive method to develop in this species?

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  • $\begingroup$ Too broad & POB add more restrictions and add more background info $\endgroup$ – Aify May 17 '18 at 6:21
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    $\begingroup$ "What pressures and reasons would cause this reproductive method to develop in this species?" Probably the same reasons why they developed in Terran species. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn May 17 '18 at 20:03
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The big question here is why would the males work as a group? If a male inseminates a female, that advances his genetic fitness but not any of his comrades who helped him get there. My proposition: the genetically diverse males in the group all have the same mix of sperm.

Male bedbugs will penetrate and inseminate the body cavity of other males. These penetrated males then deliver a combination of their own and their rapists sperm.

Your males live in groups and are shooting each other with neck darts all the time. That is how they pass the time. Any given male will have a mix of all the sperm of every other male inside of it. Thus the males, while themselves genetically diverse, all share the same mix of gametes and the same reproductive interest.

Also there is safety in numbers: like a flock of birds or school of fish, if the males approach in a pack any given individual is less likely to be eaten. Eaten by the females - like a mantis male, a male can contribute both his sperm and his caloric value. That is good for the female and the offspring, but less so the male who wants to live to reproduce another day. The first evolutionary workaround was males who could detach their penises and run, leaving the penis to do its work. Rapid detachment was even more advantageous, and deployment from a distance even better. Multiple deployments from a distance is the best - and thus the neck darts, which are really detachable penii.

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To my knowledge, slug love-darts (man that's a creepy term) are used because slugs are hermaphrodites. Since carrying a child is energy intensive, the best strategy for a slug is to impregnate the other slug while not becoming pregnant themselves. That's why those darts have two functions: a spermicide (to keep the other person from impregnating them) and an aphrodisiac (to convince a darted slug to stay and get it on after losing the shooting match).

If you give your bird-nightmares both reproductive organs, they could use the same method. The migration could be justified by it being advantageous for an organism to spread its seed as far as possible. After all, once a child is born its just another mouth to feed in your territory.

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  • $\begingroup$ After rereading this question, it seems I mixed up the love darts of slugs with angler fish detachable genitals, sense Amoeba's darts to contain sperm. Crettig's answer seems a lot more fitting. $\endgroup$ – Pinion Minion May 19 '18 at 15:10
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You may encounter the Evolutionary God of the Gaps, but here are some suggestions

remember that growing body parts that you're using as projectiles takes time to make

  1. Females need to be bigger/stronger/faster than males (having a male around is basically an extra mouth to feed that is week at harvesting food)
  2. Females should be genetically super selfish and territorial (they care for their children and themselves but that's about it). Have the females be slower to develop while the males are very quick. (As in the male can start running away quickly)
  3. When a male is birthed or hatched, it quickly will get the nutrition it needs and runs away, drawn by the pheromones of adult males.
  4. The male to male pheromones evolved to get safety in numbers. The pheromones of the group start to blend together triggering the bodies of the males to start producing disposable reproductive glands. Basically males will help males so that there is less chance of death in mating season
  5. During the mating season, the males will collectively release a pheromone to attract the females. Side Effect, the females start to go crazy when exposed to the pheromone causing them to start killing the males. At this point, the males are trying to impregnate the females by love darts.
  6. To further encourage males grouping together along with females, you probably want to include some other creature higher on the food chain that will encourage your species to group together.

If males can provide value in any substantial way to the females, your ostriches will probably meld together as a society

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps change it slightly, have the females not ever... be in the mood. and always run away from the males on sight, and then have the Dart part of the reproductive cycle be what release the pheromones that forces the females to either stay or go toward the males $\endgroup$ – Blade Wraith May 18 '18 at 11:42
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The very act of mating is dangerous.

Don't think of it like in romantic movies, in a closed hotel room lit by several candles while sipping champagne.

Think at it like it is into the wild, while the two partners are there "wrestling" and a predator happens to walk by: easy dinner served on a silver plate.

Sorry romance, in a place where predators are nasty and quick, the business has to be quicker and more practical:

  • no entangling of bodies hampering a flee attempt
  • no time and energies wasted into courting
  • load your dart, aim, shot and goodbye
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    $\begingroup$ "when you do things right nobody will be sure you've done anything at all" $\endgroup$ – user25818 May 17 '18 at 16:18
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Answer 1: They're aliens, and it's how they do things.

Answer 2: Environment. The neck is above an environment that somehow harms the species's ability to reproduce (i.e. the water they stand in is a spermicide).

Answer 3: They are prey items. This is a way to compensate for the high death rate.

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    $\begingroup$ they are aliens $\endgroup$ – Amoeba May 17 '18 at 20:47
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Your creatures are reproducing the way many squid species do - by using spermatophores: packages of sperm which can survive intact for a long time, then 'detonate' to deliver their sperm.

Sticking the spermatophores somewhere on the female other than in her reproductive tract occurs for a variety of reasons in squid:

  1. In some deep sea squid it is because you don't have to be 'accurate' during sex - just stick the spermatophore on any old body part because the sperm will migrate to where it is needed. I don't know the reason but can speculate that because this happens in deep sea squid, it is because their population is fairly sparse and they don't get a chance to mate very often. If courtship is dangerous (e.g. bioluminescent courtship signals will attract predators, or the female squid is cannibalistic) then hurriedly slapping the spermatophore anywhere and running away will be a valid mating strategy.
  2. In squid which go on long, open ocean migrations to the spawning grounds, it's a way for the females to store the sperm until they reach their destination and are ready to have their eggs fertilised. Just in case there aren't enough males to got round when they get there. Because in these species (Illex, Ommastrephes) the females are bigger than the males and there is little to eat in the open ocean so cannibalism occurs with big squid eating little ones, so lots of males get gobbled up.
  3. In species like the short-fin squid (Loligo forbesi), males have two strategies: (a) grow slowly but steadily, get big and fight other males for a mature female; or (b) grow fast and mature early while you are still small, then mate with immature females, without having to do all that pesky fighting for a mate stuff. The females will store the sperm until they mature and then use it to fertilise their eggs. Technically speaking the sperm in these ones is removed from the spermatophore and stored by the female in a pouch on her lips, but if you want you could have a longer lasting spermatophore in your creatures.

Alternatively, use the sperm storage function of the spermatophores to have a female strategy like that of mountain hares or side-blotched lizards: you mate once but you produce several litters of young from that one mating. It's a fail-safe mechanism. You make sure you mate with a top-notch male the first time you mate, lay a clutch of his eggs and store the rest of his sperm. Later on, if there are no top-notch males around, you use the stored sperm. If on the other hand an even better male comes along, dump the stored stuff and mate with the new guy.

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