species the female and male reproductive functions are separated between
individual trees. Male trees produce figs containing florets that all
have a short style length (blue flowers in the diagram below). The
pollinating fig wasp is thus capable of reaching all the ovules with her
ovipositor and hence manages to lay eggs in all the flowers. These then
produce wasps which load up pollen before they leave the fig they have
bred in. These figs therefore perform the male reproductive function.
Female trees produce figs that all have a long style, preventing the
pollinator from reaching the ovules with her ovipositor which is much
shorter than the style length. She does however, pollinate the stigmas
in the process of attempting to lay her eggs. These flowers set seed
performing the female reproductive function for the species.
Figs on female
trees are traps for the wasps as they do not manage to reproduce. The
reason why the fig wasps do not learn to avoid female figs is that they
are fooled into entering the fig as a result of the exact mimicking of
male figs (size, colour and most importantly the chemical cues or
volatiles that the pollinators home in on).