Navigation Links
Aggression prevents the better part of valor ... in fig wasps
Date:12/1/2011

Published online in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, the study confirms that placid male pollinator fig wasps work together to chew an escape tunnel for their females, before crawling back into the fig to die the non-pollinating variety are too busy fighting each other to help.

"Male insects can cooperate to attract the attention of females or to ensure that they are successful in mating, but I don't know of any other male insects which exhibit post-mating teamwork like this," says Dr Steve Compton from the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

Fig trees are vital for rainforest ecosystems. Producing fruit all year, more birds and animals feed on them than on any other plant in the rainforest. There are more than 850 types of fig tree, each pollinated by a single uniquely adapted type of fig wasp.

The research team examined some 60,000 individual fig flowers in the laboratory, each containing either pollinating fig wasps or parasitic fig wasps. All figs contained many females but alongside these, some contained a single male and others contained several males.

The hatched young of both types mate with each other before the females attempt to escape, leaving the males to die inside the fig. "Neither type of fig wasp female is strong enough to make their own way out, so they need help from the males to do this," says Dr Compton.

Escape rates for pollinator wasps were consistently high and increased when more males were present. When only one parasitic fig wasp was present, it was just as successful as the pollinators in chewing an escape route after mating, but when several males were present, the success rates plummeted.

The study also suggests that the ability of males to cooperate is hampered by innate aggression. Of the two groups of fig wasps those that pollinate fig trees and non-pollinators, which are parasites of the tree only the parasitic wasps fight more for the right to mate with females, and this group were far less able to work together.

"It would seem that male parasitic fig wasps are unable to switch off the hard-wired aggression needed to successfully mate to cooperate with each other, even when their genetic investment is at stake," says Dr Compton. "Pollinators' teamwork may be prompted because of the likelihood of genetic connection to the mated females, but the parasitic fig wasps were in the same situation."

Dr Compton believes the successful collaboration between the pollinating male fig wasps studied is likely to be normal for all pollinator fig wasps. He hopes to study a highly aggressive species of pollinators, where males fight intensely, often to death. "This will shed light on whether the cooperation is present in all pollinators, or if aggressive behaviour is too difficult to switch off after mating," he says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jo Kelly
jo@campuspr.co.uk
44-113-357-2103
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Good relationship with teacher can protect first graders from aggression
2. Squid pheromone sparks extreme aggression on contact
3. Researchers find link between sugar, diabetes and aggression
4. Fearless children show less empathy, more aggression
5. Tryptophan-enriched diet reduces pig aggression
6. Small male chimps use politics, rather than aggression, to lead the pack, U of Minnesota study says
7. The Evolution of Human Aggression: Feb. 25-27 conference
8. U of Minnesota researcher finds link between aggression, status and sex
9. Enzyme boosts metabolism, prevents weight gain in mice
10. A coating that prevents barnacles forming colonies
11. Powerful antioxidant resveratrol prevents metabolic syndrome in lab tests: U of A study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Aggression prevents the better part of valor ... in fig wasps
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... compared with the first quarter of 2015 The gross ... M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... be implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution ... the biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with ... of modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of ... ID readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... 14, 2016 BioCatch ™, ... today announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time ... the deployment of its platform at several of the ... which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... developed by Medistem Panama Inc. at the City of Knowledge in ... tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells in the US earlier this year following FDA approval ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... delegation at BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located at booth number 7301, representatives ... to answer questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology and life sciences sector. ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... Scientists at the University of Athens say they have evidence that the variety of ... could lead to one good one. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on ... evaluated 98 mesothelioma patients who got a second kind of drug therapy ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... diabetes, and traumatic injuries, will be accelerated by research at Worcester Polytechnic Institute ... engines of wound healing and tissue regeneration. , The novel method, developed by ...
Breaking Biology Technology: