Fighting strategies in two species of fig wasp

Jamie C. Moore, Darren J. Obbard, Caroline Reuter, Stuart A. West, James M. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Although theory exists concerning the types of strategies that should be used in contests over resources, empirical work explicitly testing its predictions is relatively rare. We investigated male fighting strategies in two nonpollinating. g wasp species associated with Ficus rubiginosa figs. In Sycoscapter sp. A, males did not assess each other before or during fights over mating opportunities. Instead,fights continued until the loser reached an energetic cost threshold that was positively correlated with its body size (fighting ability) and retreated. In Philotrypesis sp. B, pre fight assessment was indicated, with males attacking competitively inferior rivals to remove them from the competitor pool ( they then continued to do so until they reached a cost threshold that was again positively correlated with body size). Using data on species ecology, we discuss our findings with respect to theory on when different fighting strategies should evolve. We argue that the type of strategy used by a. g wasp species is determined by its relative benefits in terms of inclusive fitness. (c) 2008 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • ficus
  • fig wasp
  • fighting strategy
  • opponent assessment
  • Philotrypesis
  • Sycoscapter


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