A fig and its wasp [ORIGINAL]

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Figs.jpg
Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 12.23.24 PM.png
Figs.jpg

A fig and its wasp [ORIGINAL]

195.00

Did you know that figs are flowers? A whole cluster of flowers in fact, all turned inwards and encased in a bulbous stem. Being a flower, a fig needs to be pollinated, and that’s where the fig wasp comes in. Each species of fig has a corresponding fig wasp, specialized to pollinate that specific fig type.

Mother wasps lay their eggs inside a fig, which then mature and mate. The males then chew a tunnel to the surface of the fig, dying soon after. The females emerge through the tunnel, flying about until they find another fig tree into offspring hatch and mature, the males mate and then chew a tunnel to the surface, dying when their task is complete. The females follow and take flight, riding the winds until they smell another fig tree. They crawl inside a new fig, depositing the pollen from their birthplace, and also laying their eggs to restart the cycle. However, entering the fig also destroys the wasps wings, so she can only visit one plant in her lifetime. So, each time you eat a fig, you are also likely eating some minuscule fig wasp corpses.

Gouache painting of ficus carica and its fig wasp, Blastophaga psenes, 8”x10”

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