Throughout the series, the more scholar-inclined Parasytes (Reiko Tamura and Migi) state that the Parasytes cannot reproduce (and they do not know their own origin).

Is there any canon reference or proof that this is indeed true?

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    ...isn't those characters saying it proof enough? Also they don't have the anatomical necessities required to reproduce - they are just "intelligent muscle" if I remembered the quote right. – Tsugumori-704 Mar 4 '15 at 16:00
  • @Tsugumori-704 I expect the answer to go beyond what was provided in the question. – Mindwin Mar 4 '15 at 17:35

The fact that it was mentioned in the show means that it is canon reference. So in fact, no, parasytes cannot reproduce. At least technically so...

If you remember, Tamura Reiko did in fact reproduce via the human body and gave birth to human offspring. However, what about parasytes? Well, no, parasytes cannot reproduce, however, there isn't anything against them splitting into multiple organisms.

The below answer is contradictory to the show, see the answer below by Mindwin.

For example, Tamura Reiko can split into two separate parasytes. So let's consider that if a parasyte split into two separate parasytes and both latch onto two separate organisms, or parts of the same organism. Both would cultivate and grow from the nutrients, and both would have different experiences, and thus develop different personalities. In this sense, parasytes can multiply like cells via cell division and in the process creating successful offspring. Sources? None for this, it's hypothetical, however highly possible and an interesting concept.

What supports this idea though? Both the fact that Tamura Reiko split into two separate parasytes with two separate personalities, and the fact that the parasytes can indeed grow - as seen when a parasyte infects a human and takes over that human or part of that human's body.

The parasytes are made up of cells which is explained by Dr. Yui. In this sense, this supports my hypothesis since cells can perform cell division, which ultimately is a form of reproduction. So we can't necessarily rule out the fact that parasytes have the ability to divide.

In case you're wondering, reproduction is covered in episode 15. Tamura Reiko splitting into two happens in episode 17. Dr. Yui explains the neuron idea in episode 10.

Short Answer: No, parasytes cannot reproduce, and there is nothing that supports that they can reproduce via sex organs.

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    Though the hypothesis is interesting, I don't think splitting and multiplying is a possibility for parasytes. I think Tamura Reiko could not have reproduced by multiplying, since she was fully matured. What I mean is, though she could split into two, those two halves (most likely) could not grow back to full size, since they were two matured halves. Plus, we saw that once she split herself into two both half were kinda dimwitted, and could not retain the same level of consciousness as she had had as a single parasyte. – JNat Mar 5 '15 at 10:21
  • Totally agreed after looking into the show more. I also marked off my answer as it is contradictory to the show. – FatalSleep Mar 5 '15 at 14:53

I have to disagree with @FatalSleep on one point:

It seems Parasytes cannot grow new cells. Since they are alien in origin, and the series cover only a couple years (Shinichi high school life), we have no info on the lifespan of parasyte cells. But we have info proving that parasytes cannot grow new cells:

  • Migi's 30% lost inside Shinichi.

If Migi could grow new cells (and we can believe he can have a precise enough cell count, or he would not get to this 30% figure), he would not be too concerned with the retrieval of those cells. Also the fact he has to sleep for 4 hours out of every 24-ish is caused by being not whole anymore.

And indeed, it is shown several times (his invading of Shinichi's dreams for example) that he is very concerned about this loss of cells. Since there was more than an year between the current anime episode and the heart wound, if he could perform cell division like animal cells he would have done it.

  • Reiko's burrowing split fighting technique

Reiko would also have split into several copies during these years if she was able to grow new cells (and given her personality, she would act like Agent Smith in Matrix II if "Me, me, me... Me too!" If she could make clones of herself. But when she splits in two during her fight with the other parasytes, it is shown that her intellect is greatly diminished.

A parasyte brain power is dependant on his cell count. When Migi splits in several smaller versions to show the ability to Shinichi, he clearly says so that each smaller portion is dumber, and if he did not give straight orders to rejoin after a few moments, that portion would be lost forever, just like the 30% inside shinichi. Also there is the fact that a split strand of hair is only able to panic while it writhes without nutrients.

Parasyte cells can diferentiate back and forth from stem to specialized cells. The degree of fine control the Parasyte has and this fact may be a pointer to a infinite lifespan to the parasyte cells (contrary to animal cells that have finite lifespan).

So from the facts above, it is very unlikely that parasyte cells undergo mithosis. This leads to an incapacity for assexual reproduction, aside the incapacity to sexual reproduction exposed by @FatalSleep's answer.

  • Awesome answer, thank you for the information. I didn't take into account Migi's 30% cell issue, which would have changed my answer drastically. – FatalSleep Mar 5 '15 at 14:44
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    The fact is, Migi seems rather desperate to recover those cells, during those dream sequences. – Mindwin Mar 5 '15 at 15:11

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