Comparative morphology and mate competition of flightless male fig wasps
Pellmyr points out that biologists have long used fig wasps
to study big questions, such as sex ratios, cheating in partnerships, and formation of new species.
and globeflower flies (Pellmyr 1989, Pellmyr 1992), Ficus and fig wasps
(Janzen 1979, Wiebes 1979), and Yucca and yucca moths (Riley 1892).
The nematode parasites of fig wasps
exhibit such a combination of vertical and horizontal transmission (Herre 1993).
Maybe some of the specialized relationships like between the figs and fig wasps
- aren't so specialized," he added.
Four groups of pollinating floral parasites and their host plants have been studied in some detail, sometimes together with their non-pollinating close relatives: fig wasps
and figs (e.
One possible example of the operation of diminishing returns when virulence takes the form of reduced fecundity is the interaction of fig wasps
and their nematode parasites studied by Herre (1993).
Contrary to this expectation, there are only two known origins of active pollination in the hundreds of lineages of seed-eating insects, namely in yucca moths and in fig wasps
(Bronstein 1992, Pellmyr and Thompson 1992, Powell 1992, Brown et al.
Hamilton (1979) used comparisons among and within species of fig wasps
to show that male aggressive behavior and dimorphism (including armed morphs) are related to patterns of kinship within colonies.
Moreover, the same relationship is reported by Herre (1993) in comparing different nematode species that infect fig wasps
Even stranger, wild figs and some cultivated varieties, called 'Smyrna' figs, need to be pollinated by tiny fig wasps
with pollen from male "caprifigs.
As another example, Miller explained how fig wasps
lay their eggs, noting that their larvae eat some of the figs.