The nonpollinating wasp fauna of Ficus pertusa: exploitation of a mutualism?

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Reports on the three undescribed wasp species (Chalcidoidea: Torymidae: Sycophaginae) commonly associated with a neotropical fig, focusing on their dependence on the mutualism between F. pertusa and its pollinator Pegoscapus silvestrii, and their impact upon it. The species exploiting F. pertusa feed on nourishing tissue that they induce within fig ovaries that are unexploited by the pollinators, rather than on developing pollinators or seeds. Thus, in this case any costs to the mutualists should be indirect and probably small. F. pertusa's torymid species can only reproduce if females have oviposited within pollinated syconia, since trees abscise nearly all unpollinated ones early in development. Torymid oviposition was delayed relative to pollination, and in the one species investigated, females discriminated among syconia and chose to oviposit in pollinated ones. Offspring depend on the pollinators' male offspring to create an escape passage out of the mature syconium, and maturation times of all wasp species within the syconium are highly synchronized. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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