Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Los patrones de aparición y polimorfismo masculino en la avispa no-polinizadora de los higos Aepocerus sp. (Torymidae)


Katelyn Burgess



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Publication Date

May 2008


This study was designed to investigate a perceived male dimorphism in the nonpollinating fig wasp Aepocerus sp. (Torymidae), as well as to examine emergence schedules of males and females as well as of different male morphs. I collected 100 Ficus pertusa figs and preserved the wasps that emerged from each fig every day for five days. I counted the number of male and female Aepocerus sp. that emerged from each fig each day, and I measured body size and degree of wing patchiness in males to assess whether the species exhibits male dimorphism. I found that males tend to emerge earlier (avg = 3.02 ± 1.14 days, N = 528) than females (avg = 3.44 ± 1.18 days, N = 340)(t = -5.601, p < 0.001). Male body sizes ranged from 1.1 to 2.5 mm with an average of 1.764 mm ± 0.20 (N = 528) and followed a roughly normal distribution. Across all males, wing patchiness was positively correlated with body size (R2 = 0.541, p < 0.001, N = 528) and body size was negatively correlated with day of emergence (R2 = 0.066, p < 0.001, N = 528). I observed two male morphs, distinguished most clearly by the appearance of their abdomens (rather than by body size or wing patchiness, as previously believed). Males with opaque abdomens tended to be smaller (avg = 1.57 ± 0.02 mm, N = 78) than males with translucent abdomens (avg = 1.80 ± 0.05 mm, N = 450)(t = 8.847, p < 0.001) and also tended to emerge later (avg = 3.65 ± 1.32 days, N = 78) than males with translucent abdomens (avg = 2.91 ± 1.02 days, N = 450)(t = -5.834, p < 0.001). My results highlight the need for further study of Aepocerus sp. in order to understand developmental mechanisms for male morphs.


Este estudio fue diseñado para investigar un notorio dimorfismo masculino en la avispa no-polinizadora de los higos Aepocerus sp. (Torymidae), así como examinar los horarios de aparición de los machos y las hembras, al igual que de los diferentes morfos masculinos.


Sexual dimorphism (Animals), Torymidae, Wasps, CIEE Spring 2008

Palabras claves

Dimorfismo sexual (Animales), Avispas, CIEE Primavera 2008


9 pages

Geographic Location

Cañitas (Guanacaste, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Emergence patterns and male polymorphism in the nonpollinating fig wasp Aepocerus sp. (Torymidae), May 2008



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