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:2/14/2017)...  Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center today announced Julie Ann ... officer (CEO). Freischlag joins the medical center on May ... M.D., who last year announced that he would transition ... leading it since 2008.   As CEO, ... Baptist,s academic health system, which includes Wake Forest School ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... -- Former 9/11 Commission border counsel and Special Counsel ... of Identity Strategy Partners, LLP, today releases the ... Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into ... President Trump,s ,Travel Ban, Executive Order gains more notoriety ... travel ban, it is important that our national discourse ...
(Date:2/9/2017)... Feb. 9, 2017 The biomass boiler market ... the biomass boiler market globally in terms of revenue ... boilers. The market for biomass boilers has been segmented ... application, and country/region. The market based on feedstock type, ... residues, biogas & energy crops, urban residues, and others. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Ellen Matloff, president and CEO of My ... a 2017 Women of Innovation® finalist. Matloff will be among several women to ... dinner recognizes women accomplished in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), along with ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017  Agriculture technology company Cool Planet has ... note conversion to commercialize its Cool Terra and Cool ... developing products that are simultaneously profitable as well as ... last 18 months. This latest round of funding was ... The company,s primary product, Cool Terra, ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... Researchers face a ... lab samples to full-size tissues, bones, even whole organs to implant in people ... delivers blood deep into the developing tissue. , Current bioengineering techniques, including ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on ... today that Dr. Miriam Kidron , Oramed,s ... "Oral Insulin for Diabetes Treatment: Bypassing the Roadblock," ... Peptide Therapeutics (OPT) Boston Conference in Cambridge, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: