n African Entomology - A fig crop pollinated by three or more species of agaonid fig wasps

Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



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 ( Wiebes, Wiebes, (Grandi) and Joseph) were recorded from a single host individual of 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 species, raising the possibility that gene flow may be occurring between taxa in the 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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