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Wonderful World of Wasps

Exhibition Iziko South African Museum

(Life: Kingdom: Metazoa (animals); Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Hexapoda; Order: Hymenoptera)

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Pollinators of plants can often be predicted, based on flower characteristics of colour, fragrance and shape. For example, white, fragrant flowers with a long corolla tube are usually pollinated by Hawk moths, which are nocturnal and have a long tongue to reach the nectar. Fig trees are unique in that the flowers are completely concealed within the fig, an enclosed inflorescence, with the hundreds of tiny florets lining the inside of a central cavity, requiring a specialist pollinator. Tiny fig wasps, only a couple of millimeters long perform this function in return for a place to breed.

Photographs Simon van Noort


Web author Simon van Noort (Iziko South African Museum)

 

Citation: van Noort, S. 2018. WaspWeb: Hymenoptera of the Afrotropical region. URL: www.waspweb.org (accessed on <day/month/year>).

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