Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Why do some Australian onychophorans have fantastic heads?
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male onychophoran
modified papillae
palps and spines
male genital apparatus
sexual selection
onicóforo macho
papilas modificadas
palpos y espinas
aparato genital masculino
selección sexual

How to Cite

Monge, J. (2019). Why do some Australian onychophorans have fantastic heads?. Revista De Biología Tropical, (1), Darwin. Retrieved from


Males of some Australian onychophorans transfer their spermatophores with spectacular structures in their head, such as pits with palps and spines. No one has explained why these structures allow this species to be identified. Here we propose that, when its head is the genital apparatus, natural selection treats it as a genital apparatus. Probably these fantastic heads of Australian onychophorans are just another case of divergent sexual evolution by sexual selection.

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