On 11 Jul 1996, John L. Payton wrote:
> At the risk of starting yet another round of definitions, I would be
> interested in learning the consensus regarding the concept of organisms which
> seem to be parasites of their own species. Can a creature be a parasite of
> its own species? If not, why not?
>> Please apply this question to:
> The anglerfish Photocorynus spiniceps.
> The marine worm Bonella.
> The nematode Trichosomoides crassicauda.
> The blook fluke Schistosoma haematobium.
>> John Payton
I would say no (given that the interactions you mention are between males
and females of the same species, with the end result being reproduction).
because the fitness of both partners is increased as a result of the
interaction...but this assumes that the presence of a parasite does not have
a positive effect on host fitness. Which brings us back to the definition of a
parasite; a topic that I (for once) will tactfully avoid.