About Fig Wasp
Fig wasps, also known as fig pollinators or fig bees, are a group of tiny wasps that are essential to the pollination of fig trees. Without these wasps, fig trees would not be able to produce fruit. Fig wasps are specialized for their role in fig pollination and have a symbiotic relationship with fig trees.
- They are generally small, with a length ranging from 2 to 4 millimetres.
- They have a slender, cylindrical body and long, narrow wings that are typically transparent or translucent.
- Some species of fig wasps have a distinctive, reddish-brown or black colouration.
- The female fig wasp has a long ovipositor, which she uses to lay her eggs inside the fruit of a fig tree.
- This ovipositor is often much longer than the rest of her body, giving her a distinctive, needle-like appearance.
- Male fig wasps are typically smaller than females, and they lack the long ovipositor that is characteristic of the female.
- They are also less colourful, with a more subdued brown or grey colouration.
Fig trees and fig wasps have a mutualistic relationship, with the wasps pollinating the figs and the figs providing a habitat for the wasp’s offspring. The life cycle of Fig Wasp starts with:
- Female fig wasps enter the figs through a small opening, known as the ostiole, and lay their eggs in the ovaries of the fig flowers.
- The larvae hatch and feed on the developing seeds of the fig, while also pollinating the flowers.
- After feeding and growing for several weeks, the larvae form cocoons within the fig and pupate.
- Adult fig wasps emerge from the cocoons and chew their way out of the fig through the ostiole.
- Male fig wasps mate with female fig wasps and the cycle begins again, with the females laying eggs in new figs.
- The female wasps enter the figs to lay their eggs and pollinate the flowers in the process.
- Fig wasps reproduce inside figs, where the female lays her eggs. The wasp larvae feed on the fig flowers and develop into adult wasps inside the figs.
- Some species of fig wasps migrate from one fig tree to another, carrying pollen from one tree to the next and ensuring that the fig trees are properly pollinated.
- Fig wasps have specialized anatomy that allows them to enter the tiny openings in figs and lay their eggs. They also have specialized mouthparts that allow them to feed on fig flowers.
- The wasps are able to reproduce and lay their eggs in the figs, while the figs are pollinated and able to produce fruit.