Gewone wildevy – Ficus thonningii
- The genus Ficus is at least 2 million years old & they have a group of wasps without which they can’t survive
- The fig doesn’t have exposed stamens and stigmas to facilitate pollination, instead these are enclosed in a fleshy, urn-shaped inflorescence known as the syconium, or fig
- Female wasps are chemically attracted to syconia and enter through a tiny opening. The wasp is physically adapted to do this, but it is a tight squeeze & in the process she loses her wings and much of her antennae, useless appendages in her new home. Inside she purposefully effects the pollination of the tiny flowers, Lays her eggs and then dies.
- Male and female wasps develop within galls of the ripening fruit, the larvae-like males hatching first & impregnating the females in their galls. Upon hatching the delicate winged females emerge from their galls and deliberately collect pollen, they leave the syconium via tunnels, which the flightless males make, before they die, having spent their entire short lives within the host fig.
- With their precious cargo of pollen the female fly off in search of a virgin syconium of another tree in which to repeat the whole amazing cycle
- The tree has may aerial roots
- Baboons plan an important role in seed dispersal.