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Home / Science / Parasitic Fig Wasps Use Zinc-Tipped Ovipositor to Drill into Fruits – Sci
Parasitic Fig Wasps Use Zinc-Tipped Ovipositor to Drill into Fruits – Sci

Parasitic Fig Wasps Use Zinc-Tipped Ovipositor to Drill into Fruits – Sci

An immensely prolonged (7–8 mm) and slim (15 μm) ovipositor of a parasitic fig wasp Apocrypta westwoodi is versed with a sharp, zinc-coated tip, prepared to gimlet by a woody fruit, according to scientists Dr Namrata Gundiah and Lakshminath Kundanati from a Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

Parasitic fig wasp Apocrypta westwoodi on a fig. Photo credit: Lakshminath Kundanati.

Parasitic fig wasp Apocrypta westwoodi on a fig. Photo credit: Lakshminath Kundanati.

The scientists were intrigued by a differences between a egg smoothness systems of a tedious parasitoid wasp Apocrypta westwoodi and a wasp that pollinates a fig’s flowers, Ceratosolen fusciceps.

“Our initial doubt was what are a opposite adaptations that these dual class undergo,” commented Dr Gundiah, who is a comparison author of a paper published in a Journal of Experimental Biology.

They used scanning nucleus microscopy to take a high fortitude demeanour during a tips of a insects’ ovipositors and were vacant to see that a finish of a tedious wasp’s ovipositor looked like a cavalcade bit, finish with teeth to gimlet by a woody fruit. In contrast, a tip of a pollinator wasp’s ovipositor closely resembled a spoon-like structure.

And, when they looked along a length of a borer’s ovipositor, they beheld little pits in a shaft, roughly in a plcae where a structure bends as a womanlike drives a tip into a fruit to concede a ovipositor to flex but breaking.

They could also clearly see feeling structures during a tip that could assistance lamp a ovipositor to a best locations for a wasp to lay her eggs.

Dr Gundiah and Kundanati afterwards investigated a element from that a cavalcade bit was made.

Focusing a lamp of electrons on a notation tip, they available a X-ray spectra issued by a element and detected that a tooth structures were enriched with zinc.

“Zinc especially increases a hardness, that will impact a wear insurgency of a cavalcade bits,” Dr Gundiah said.

Kundanati and Gundiah afterwards prodded a notation cavalcade bit with an atomic force microscope examine to score it to magnitude how tough a zinc-enriched teeth were.

They available a softness of a teeth during 0.5 GPa – that is roughly as tough as a acrylic concrete used for dental implants.

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Lakshminath Kundanati Namrata Gundiah. 2014. Biomechanics of substrate tedious by fig wasps. J Exp Biol 217, 1946-1954; doi: 10.1242/jeb.098228

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