the pollinators there is a suite of non-pollinating fig wasps that also
breed in the fig, but which play no role in the pollination process. From
the fig’s perspective they are unwanted interlopers. In Africa, as many
as 30 species of non-pollinating fig wasp can be associated with a
particular fig tree species, as in Ficus thonningii, but more
commonly three to fifteen species are associated with each fig species.
One group of non-pollinators also enter the fig for egg-laying, and
exhibit parallel morphological adaptations to those of the pollinators for
easing their passage through the ostiole. Most of the non-pollinators,
however, lay eggs by inserting their ovipositor through the fig wall from
the outside of the fig. These wasps often have extremely long “tails”
ovipositors) the length of which has been evolutionarily
determined by wall thickness of their host fig species. Fig size varies
tremendously across species, and ranges from smaller than a marble to as
large as a tennis ball.