1. Pollinating fig wasps (Hymenoptera, Agaonidae) display sex ratio adjustment, producing less female-biased combined sex ratios as the number of ovipositing females (foundresses) inside a fig increases. Because males have low mobility, the oviposition sites (galled ovules) chosen by each foundress are likely to have consequences for the mating structure of wasp populations within the figs. 2. In this study, the spatial location of male and female progeny of the pollinating fig wasp Liporrhopalum tentacularis developing within figs of its host plant Ficus montana was examined to investigate two questions: (i) are male and/or female wasp offspring clustered together or interspersed? and (ii) is their distribution affected by whether one or two foundresses are present? Microsatellite markers were used to identify the progeny of different foundresses in dual-foundress figs. 3. More offspring developed in the central part of the figs, compared with the ostiolar and basal parts, irrespective of foundress number. Neither male nor female wasp offspring were clustered within a fig. 4. The sons of the second foundress to enter a fig were positioned at similar minimum distances to both sibling and non-sibling females, whereas the sons of the first foundress were closer to their sibling females than to non-sibling females. If male wasps mate predominantly with females in adjacent galls, then the positioning of sons by the second foundresses is beneficial for them both in terms of reduced sibling mating and because they are provided with ready access to the female progeny of the first foundress.
- mating structure
- sex ratio