n African Entomology - A fig crop pollinated by three or more species of agaonid fig wasps
|Article Title||A fig crop pollinated by three or more species of agaonid fig wasps|
|© Publisher:||Entomological Society of South Africa (ESSA)|
|Author||S.G. Compton, K. Grehan and S. Van Noort|
|Publication Date||Sep 2009|
|Pages||215 - 222|
|Keyword(s)||Agaonidae, Ficus, Host specificity, Hybrid, Parasitoid, Pollination and Uganda|
Species of fig trees (Ficus) and their fig wasp pollinators (Agaonidae) were traditionally thought to have a highly specific one-to-one relationship, but increasing numbers of exceptions to this pattern are emerging. Here we describe an exceptional situation, where four different agaonid species (Alfonsiella brongersmai Wiebes, Alfonsiella natalensis Wiebes, Elisabethiella allotriozoonoides (Grandi) and Alfonsiella longiscapa Joseph) were recorded from a single host individual of Ficus natalensis natalensis Hochst. growing within its native range in Kibale Forest, Uganda. Germination studies confirmed that figs pollinated by at least three of the agaonid species contained viable seeds. Some of the agaonids are known to be associated with other Ficus species, raising the possibility that gene flow may be occurring between taxa in the Ficus natalensis species group. The figs also contained an exceptionally rich fauna of non-pollinating fig wasps (21 species), but there was no evidence that any non-pollinators were linked to figs pollinated by a particular agaonid.
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