Speciation in fig pollinators and parasites

George D. Weiblen, Guy L. Bush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Here we draw on phylogenies of figs and fig wasps to suggest how modes of speciation may be affected by interspecific interactions. Mutualists appear to have cospeciated with their hosts to a greater extent than parasites, which showed evidence of host shifting. However, we also repeatedly encountered a pattern not explained by either cospeciation or host switching. Sister species of fig parasites often attack the same host in sympatry, and differences in ovipositor length suggest that parasite speciation could result from divergence in the timing of oviposition with respect to fig development. These observations on fig parasites are consistent with a neglected model of sympatric speciation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1573-1578
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular ecology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2002


  • Agaonidae
  • Coevolution
  • Cospeciation
  • Mutualism
  • Parasitism
  • Phylogeny


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