Figwasp entering into the Fig Nimo

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Nikhil More
Published at : 25 Nov 2020
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This video is about pollinator figwasp (Ceratosolen fusciceps) entering into the fig of host plant (Ficus racemosa).
The life cycle of the fig wasp is closely intertwined with that of the fig tree it inhabits. The wasps that inhabit a particular tree can be divided into two groups; pollinating and non-pollinating. The pollinating wasps are part of an obligate nursery pollination mutualism with the fig tree, while the non-pollinating wasps feed off the plant without benefiting it. The life cycles of the two groups, however, are very similar.Though the lives of individual species differ, a pollinating fig wasp life cycle is as follows. In the beginning of the cycle, a mature female pollinator wasp enters the immature "fruit" (actually a stem-like structure known as a syconium) through a small natural opening, the ostiole and deposits her eggs in the cavity. Forcing her way through the ostiole, she often loses her wings and most of her antennae. To facilitate her passage through the ostiole, the underside of the female's head is covered with short spines that provide purchase on the walls of the ostiole. In depositing her eggs, the female also deposits pollen she picked up from her original host fig. This pollinates some of the female flowers on the inside surface of the fig and allows them to mature. After the female wasp lays her eggs and follows through with pollination, she dies. After pollination, there are several species of non-pollinating wasps which deposit their eggs before the figs harden. These wasps act as parasites to either the fig or possibly the pollinating wasps. As the fig develops, the wasp eggs hatch and develop into larvae. After going through the pupal stage, the mature male’s first act is to mate with a female. The males of many species lack wings and are unable to survive outside the fig for a sustained period of time. After mating, a male wasp begins to dig out of the fig, creating a tunnel through which the females escape. ( Location- Indian Instiute of Science, Bangalore, India)
Music- Busy lives by Paul Mottram
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