(ORDO NEWS) — It is believed that sexual reproduction provides a great advantage to species: more genetic combinations occur this way, which contributes to resilience and survival.
However, the completely female species of grasshopper Warramaba virgo proved that it is possible to successfully exist without it.
Parthenogenetic species in which females reproduce asexually are relatively rare. It was previously thought that the rarity of this type of asexual reproduction was due to a lack of fitness in the offspring. Now scientists have changed their minds and decided that the reason, rather, is complexity.
The “female” species of Warramaba virgo is not only not inferior to other grasshoppers, but is the only one that has spread throughout the continent from west to east of Australia.
The researchers suggested that the entire species could have evolved from one very successful individual. And all the other members of the population, in fact, became its clones.
“Finding a mate takes time and energy and comes with an increased risk of predation. If we can get rid of the males and still have viable offspring, and the species is thriving, then why would we even have sex?” the researchers noted.
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