Wasps - James Dorey
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Fig wasp parasitoid and hyperparasitoid: Sycoscapter sp. 1 and Watshamiella sp. 1

Fig wasp parasitoid and hyperparasitoid: Sycoscapter sp. 1 and Watshamiella sp. 1

What an amazing system! For three days in a row I had been photographing these parasitoids of the pollinating fig wasp (I assume). The green ones (Sycoscapter sp.) seem more numerous and more active earlier on in the day, while the yellow ones (Watshamiella sp.) are fewer, and more active as the day goes on. What is truly amazing is that they will follow a green parasitoid and wait for it to finish ovipositing, before ovipositing in the same spot itself.

I'm not certain if this is because they are a hyperparasitoid of the Sycoscapter sp., or if they find this an easier way of locating a likely place to oviposit (making the Sycoscapter sp. do all the work). Regardless this is a truly amazing system, with so many trophic levels already at play, before you even get into predators, herbivores and other pests! Figs really are keystone species.

EcologyHymenopteraWaspaustralianaustralian photographerbrisbanecanoninsectinvertebratejames doreyjames dorey photographyjbdoreymacronaturephotographerphotographysciencescientistzoology