Pollination mode in fig wasps: The predictive power of correlated traits

F. Kjellberg, E. Jousselin, J. L. Bronstein, A. Patel, J. Yokoyama, J. Y. Rasplus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


The over 700 species of Ficus are thought to have co-speciated with their obligate pollinators (family Agaonidae). Some of these wasp species pollinate figs actively, while others are passive pollinators. Based on direct observations of mode of pollination in 88 species, we show that mode of pollination can confidently be predicted from fig traits only (anther-to-ovule ratio) or from wasp traits only (presence of coxal combs). The presence of pollen pockets is not a predictor of mode of pollination. Data, direct and indirect, on 142 species, demonstrate numerous cases of the loss of active pollination and suggest one or few origins of active pollination. Hence, active pollination, an impressive example of the sophisticated traits that may result from mutualistic coevolution, depends on selective forces that can be overcome in some species, allowing reversions. Despite frequent loss, active pollination remains the predominant mode of pollination in Ficus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113-1121
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1472
StatePublished - Jun 7 2001


  • Agaonidae
  • Coevolution
  • Ficus
  • Fig
  • Mutualism
  • Pollination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Pollination mode in fig wasps: The predictive power of correlated traits'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this