Clutch size: A major sex ratio determinant in fig pollinating wasps?

Finn Kjellberg, Judith L. Bronstein, Glen van Ginkel, Jaco M. Greeff, Jamie C. Moore, Nathalie Bossu-Dupriez, Malia Chevolot, Georges Michaloud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Under local mate competition, sex ratio theory predicts that increasing numbers of ovipositing females (foundresses) on a site should lead to higher proportions of males in their broods. Fig pollinators have confirmed this prediction. It is also predicted that with decreasing clutch size, solitary foundresses should produce increasing proportions of sons. We show this to be true. Further, when several females compete, brood size decreases. As a result, the proportion of males increases, and this could provide a mechanistic explanation of sex ratio response to numbers of colonizing females. Therefore, sex ratio data on fig wasps need to be reassessed to determine whether females 'count' other foundresses, as is generally accepted, or whether they simply 'count' the number of eggs that they lay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-476
Number of pages6
JournalComptes Rendus - Biologies
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Brood size
  • Evolution
  • Ficus
  • Fig wasps
  • Sex ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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