Research Paper

Body size and injury severity associated with mating strategies in male Philotrypesis taida fig wasps

Da-Mien Wong, Lien-Siang Chou, Shiuh-Feng Shiao, Anthony Bain

Published on: 16 July 2018

DOI: 10.6165/tai.2018.63.227

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2018 vol.63 no.3 pp.227-231


In theory, costs associated with fighting favor the assessment of resource value and relative fighting ability over indiscriminately attacking all opponents. This study explored how body sizes (head width and mandible length), morphs (typical and atypical), and injury severities are associated with mating strategies (fighting and sheltering) and outcomes (mated or unmated). We collected 75 ripe unexited figs from four Ficus benguetensis trees in Taipei, Taiwan. The figs were then opened and any male Philotrypesis taida fig wasps therein, involved in fighting, sheltering, or mating behaviors, were collected, categorized, and measured. The results indicated that body size and injury severity of the male fig wasps were significantly associated with their mating strategies; that is, larger males demonstrated considerably more fighting and sheltering behaviors, but less frequent severe injury conditions. However, no significant difference existed in body sizes, mandible morphologies, or injury severities between mated and unmated males. Our result suggested that all males may have an equal chance of mating, regardless of their body size and morphology.

Keyword: Atypical morphology, Fig wasp, Sheltering, Mate competition, Philotrypesis, Ficus benguetensis