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Reading: Pollinator and non-polinator fig wasp relationship in syconia of Ficus exasperata

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Research Articles

Pollinator and non-polinator fig wasp relationship in syconia of Ficus exasperata

Author:

Inoka Karunaratne

Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

Ficus species are pollinated only by species specific wasps of the subfamily Agaoninae (Hymenoptera: Agaonidae). Hence, figs have an intimate relationship with its pollinating fig wasps that oviposit within fig ovaries and the resulting larvae feed on the developing seeds. Figs are also associated with non-pollinator wasps of the family Agaonidae that either oviposit within fig ovaries thereby resulting in galls, or parasitize the larvae of pollinator wasps thereby affecting the fig-pollinator relationship. The present study identifies the fig wasps associated with the dioecious fig, Ficus exasperata, a common fig in Sri Lanka and investigates the relationship between the pollinator and non-pollinator wasps. During the fig off season in December 2007, 50 syconia collected from a single hermaphroditic tree of F. exasperata located in the Peradeniya University Park were subjected to this study. From these figs emerged the pollinator wasp Karadibia gestroi and the non-pollinator parasitoid wasp Philotrypesis quadrisetosa. Emergent pollinator fig wasps were the most abundant with a mean of 213.50 wasps per fig in comparison to the non-pollinator parasitoid wasps that ranged from 0-67 per fig. There was no significant relationship (r = -0.168) between the numbers of pollinator and non-pollinator wasps that emerged from a fig. The sex ratio of the pollinator wasp, K. gestroi that emerged from figs was strongly female biased (0.20) inferring that the offsprings are from a single or few mothers.

Keywords: dioecious fig; syconia; parasitoid; parasitism

DOI: 10.4038/cjsbs.v38i2.1860

Cey. J. Sci. (Bio. Sci.) 38 (2): 67-73, 2009

How to Cite: Karunaratne, I., (2010). Pollinator and non-polinator fig wasp relationship in syconia of Ficus exasperata. Ceylon Journal of Science (Biological Sciences). 38(2), pp.67–73. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjsbs.v38i2.1860
Published on 26 Apr 2010.
Peer Reviewed

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