Mysteries of Micropipette
Figure 1. Auto-pipet mating fan.
Figure 2. Close up of a telum amoris ubiquitous, the so-called "love dart" of auto-pipets.
The curious inter-specific mating behavior of autopipets is captured here for the first time by Bates College researchers. The recent proliferation of these species in biology laboratories everywhere has caught the scientific community off guard, sparking inquiries at NSF and NIH for research funding. Noted evolutionary biologist Stephen J. Bould was quoted as being "taken aback" by the unprecedented speciation rates observed for this taxon.
Seen here (Fig. 1) is a receptive female (centermost, tan body with sharp proboscis) of the species Utouchame ibustiufasia Eppendorf, schmoozing with a "courtship fan" array of competing, mixed-age males of the species Volumetris minutiae Gilson. The larger specimens are believed to be reproductively mature; the smaller, apparently non-reproductive, males may function similarly to immature male salmon ("jacks") that help stimulate mating behavior.
All known species employ secondary sexual structures (Fig. 2) that morphologically and functionally resemble the "telum amoris", or love dart, of Pulmonate snails (Mollusca). For lack of precedent terminology, the auto-pipet "love dart" has been tentatively named the "telum amoris ubiquitous", or, "one love dart fits all". Our preliminary observations suggest the "love dart" may also act as a delivery vehicle for gametes. Further, the two species studied possess a remarkable mechanism for shedding gametes in quantities as small as 1 ul per event.