Fig Wasp Story

Fig Wasp Story


In nature, interactions among organisms
take many forms, and can have either positive or negative effects on the individuals involved. Competition is a type of interaction where
both individuals are negatively impacted because they are fighting for the same resource,
such as habitat or nutrients. Predation is a form of competition in which
one individual benefits while the other is harmed. The predator feeds and the prey… well, it
dies, when the predator is successful. Parasitism is a specialized form of predation,
where a larger organism is the host of a much smaller and sinister tenant. Parasites thrive
at the expense of the host. They have quicker They have quicker generation times and are
specialists, so most live their entire lives within a host. Mutualism is a relationship where both organisms
benefit from each other. Plants often recruit insects, to participate in a contract that
provides food in exchange for pollination. However, mutualism may share many characteristics
with parasitism, as is the case of obligate mutualism. Here,
instead of one thriving at the expense of the other neither can survive or reproduce without the
other. This is the definitive case of the fig tree
and the fig wasp. The fig is not a fruit, but a hollow garden
of flowers. A female fig wasp has laid her eggs and pollinated the flowers, which have
now reached maturity. The fig is a nursery, it has cared for the
future wasps by protecting them within its galls. The male wasps mature early. Wingless and
almost blind, they are the first to emerge from their galls. Then their essential ritual
begins, as he mates while the female is still in her gall, ensuring she has everything she
needs to produce eggs when she reaches maturity. Soon thereafter the females emerge. They look
very different, with antennae and large eyes, powerful wings
and a long ovipositor. They are not built to be enclosed, they are
meant to be free. They don’t have much time, for the fruit ripens
as soon as the galls are empty. Male wasps cut stamens and offer the pollen
to the females, which they take as a parting gift. Finally, the males proceed to dig a tunnel
to set the females free. They briefly witness the light of day in their
dying moments, while the females fly towards their quest
for another fig. The fig left behind rapidly ripens, which
attracts animals that will eat them and disperse their seeds.
This is the legacy of the wasp; she provides the pollination that completes the fig`s reproduction. Female wasps have very short lives and to
cope with this and the risk of missing out on pollination, fig trees randomly fruit throughout the year. And so the pollen-laden wasp reaches an immature
fig. But her journey is far from over; ahead lies the greatest challenge of her brief
life. Clawing and squeezing her way through the
gate her wings and antennae are ripped from her.
She makes the ultimate sacrifice, as the final push to enter bursts her abdomen. In an epic struggle between sacrifice and
survival, the mother wasp crawls through the narrow labyrinth towards the inner chamber. She is wounded
and weak, carrying only her eggs and the pollen gift of the former fig. If the wasp fails to pollinate the flowers,
no seeds will ever develop. Fig fruits with no future are costly to the tree, so they
will not receive an inflow of nutrients. If the wasp does not pollinate, the entire
fig may be aborted. However, if she devotes herself to pollination
as well as laying eggs, she ensures the fig will hold the promise of seeds. The tree will
pump sugars and nutrients into the fig, securing the future of seeds and larvae alike. When
they mature and leave, the fig will ripen, thus completing the cycle of mutual benefit
that has existed for millions of years. After so much effort, she finally reaches
the nursery to complete her mission. The pollen she carries will ensure the fig remains, and
so will her developing offspring. Struggling, she lays her eggs with her ovipositor
into receptive flowers. Finally, she unpacks her gift of pollen and
fertilizes the fig. After perpetuating the relationship, she lays
down in her grave of flowers. She has ensured life continues beyond her;
the tree will care for her young alongside its own developing seeds. In time, some seeds will grow into centennial
trees, and somewhere, out there, a mother wasp looks
for a fig. And so the mutual cycle starts anew.

100 thoughts on “Fig Wasp Story”

  1. Thanks it help me to understand the pollination in fig which helps me in exams…please upload more videos which help us too study

  2. I now understand why the female wasps head is flattened. It's so it can push its way into the fig with littie resistance.

  3. It sounds like a 3d life…we only life for eating and reproduce..i think all in nature has been disturbed. It has been said that all killer and stinger animals will not stay in the new frequency earth.. They will mutate as they supposed to be or the species dies out..very interesting video..i really didn't know..this is how abogirinals snd other indegious tribes ate their nutrious proteins..

  4. why do males in nature have it so bad 😭😭😭 they literally sacrificed themselves at the start of their lives wtf. We say being a girl is hard but guys in nature always seem to be expected to sacrifice themselves for females.

  5. You missed the best part…Male Fig wasp larvae emerge first & copulate with female larvae while it in side the Egg.

  6. Please answer me ? Why did you stop at one video . You have done a beautiful work that can impart knowledge in philosophical manner. RSVP.

  7. The screams like its a project for a feminism college course. And you stole the music from the last samurai. Boo.

  8. Why am I crying? When you explained her wings break off my face was 😟
    This story broke my heart my dudes.

  9. We have like a fig tree in our garden …can someone explain to me why i always find something that looks like honey coming out from the hole of the fig its yellow n sweet i used to eat it cause it was so sweet n i liked sweet stuff so can someone tell me whats that ? ( i aint eating no figs after this vid)

  10. It's no wonder Jesus uses the fig tree as an example in his teachings.
    Who woulda thought the savior of the world and wasps had that much in common.

  11. For the record, the figs we eat are female ones they are edible ones they only have a tiny female inside them that pollinated it without actually successfully laying its eggs inside which the fig breaks down into protein.

  12. Wow……really just….wow…..this was worth waking BECAUSE I HAVE A BABY FIG TREE AND THERES A WASP NEST ON THE TREE😢😭😭😭

  13. First: The fig wasp will only reproduce inside a MALE fig, which are produced only in MALE fig trees and are not edible, if the fig wasp enters a female fig she won't be able to lay her eggs there and she will die, pollinating the fig.
    Second: Most of the commercial fig varieties are self fertile, which means that they will ripen it's figs even without a fig wasp pollinating them, their seeds will be sterile but the fruit will be edible and great.
    Third: the fig wasp exist only in a few Mediterranean countries, most of the bigger fig producers don't have it, in the US it is present only in some parts of California.
    It's almost imposible to find a fig that have been pollinated by a wasp. Eat figs they are delicious and guilt free.

  14. worst reading-from-a-script presentation…. ever …. in case the orator (and I use that term loosely) ever does another presentation, perhaps she should listen to herself first… and the "t" is silent in "often" ffs

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