Plant Diversity ›› 2017, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (03): 130-134.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2017.04.002

• Articles • Previous Articles    

Occurrence of internally ovipositing non-agaonid wasps and pollination mode of the associated agaonid wasps

Xinmin Zhanga, Darong Yangb   

  1. a. Key Laboratory of Forest Disaster Warning and Control in Yunnan Province, College of Forestry, Southwest Forest Forestry University, Kunming, Yunnan 650224, China;
    b. Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China
  • Received:2016-12-20 Revised:2017-04-12 Published:2021-11-05
  • Contact: Darong Yang
  • Supported by:
    We thank Li Zong-Bo for assistance. We are grateful to Prof. Stephen G. Compton for his useful comments and help in improving the English text. This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30571507, 30670358).

Abstract: Figs (Ficus, Moraceae) and their pollinating fig wasps (Hymenoptera, Agaonidae, Chalcidoidea) are a striking example of obligate mutualism and coevolution. Agaonid females enter the figs to lay their eggs, but also actively or passively transport pollen into the figs at the same time. We examined eight related fig tree species pollinated by host specific Eupristina agaonids to determine the relationships between pollination mode, host pollen, ovule ratios and the ability of the figs to recruit additional non-agaonid pollinators. Uniquely amongst the eight Eupristina species, the pollinator of Ficus curtipes has non-functional pollen pockets and no coxal combs, showing that it pollinates passively. Reflecting this, the anther-to-ovule ratio of F. curtipes is unusually high.In addition to the agaonids, figs support many species of ‘non-pollinating fig wasps’ (NPFW) that are typically ovule gallers or parasitoids. These mainly oviposit from outside the figs but there are a few species of NPFW that are like agaonids and enter the figs to oviposit. Two of the eight Eupristina pollinated fig trees support host specific internally-ovipositing fig wasps belonging to the chalcidoid genera Diaziella (Sycoecinae) and Lipothymus (Otitesellinae). Reflecting the trees' pollination modes, these fig wasps act as supplementary pollinators of F. curtipes, but not of Ficus glaberrima, where agaonid pollination is active.

Key words: Agaonidae, Ficus, Parasites, Pollination, Coevolution, Mutualism