One sexual position has been good enough for the froghopper for 165 million years. Scientists have discovered the oldest fossil record of insect copulation.
You can see the fossil below. The male is on the right and the female is on the left.
Fossil records of mating insects are very rare, so scientists don’t know much about the evolution of mating, but this fossil suggests that the froghopper has used the same method since the middle of the Jurassic period.
Dong Ren and his team from Capital Normal University discovered the fossil in northeast China and the study was published in PLoS One on Nov. 6.
Even though the insects in the fossil look like they are in a belly-to-belly position, the scientists can’t rule out that they were actually using the side-to-side position that modern species of froghoppers use. The imperfect nature of fossil records makes it difficult for the scientists to determine the exact orientation of the froghoppers. Either way, the scientists say in the paper that both positions use the same kind of abdomen and genitalia twisting.
Below is a picture of a modern froghopper species mating:
Froghoppers get their name because they live in forests and hop around like frogs on leaves and shrubs. Froghoppers belong to a family of insects called Cercopoidea that includes about 3,000 species. The earliest fossil record of the modern froghopper dates back to the Paleocene age — about 60 million years ago. Scientists believe these modern insects evolved from those shown in the fossil.
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