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First record of a non-pollinating fig wasp (Hymenoptera: Sycophaginae) from Dominican amber, with estimation of the size of its host figs

Abstract : Fig trees and their pollinating fig wasps arose about 75 million years ago in the Cretaceous period. Several other groups of chalcid wasps also utilize figs for larval development, including sycophagines, the putative sister group to pollinating fig wasps. Whereas stone and amber fossil pollinators are known, no fossils representing non-pollinating fig wasp groups have been confirmed previously. Here, we describe the first Sycophaginae from the c. 15-20 Ma Dominican amber, Idarnes thanatos sp. nov. Farache, Rasplus, Pereira and Compton, and discuss its relationships within the Idarnes carme species group. Additionally, we use linear regression to compare body size, ovipositor sheaths length, and host fig size data from extant Idarnes species to estimate the size of its host figs. Idarnes thanatos was most likely associated with small to medium sized figs (diameter <= 1.0 cm), that were likely to have been dispersed by birds and primates. The discovery of this close relative of extant non-pollinating fig wasps suggests that early Miocene and modern fig wasp communities may share similar ecological and functional features.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-01602442
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 9:27:12 AM
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Fernando Farache, Jean Yves Rasplus, Dany Azar, Rodrigo A. S. Pereira, Stephen G. Compton. First record of a non-pollinating fig wasp (Hymenoptera: Sycophaginae) from Dominican amber, with estimation of the size of its host figs. Journal of Natural History, Taylor & Francis, 2016, 50 (35-36), pp.2237 - 2247. ⟨10.1080/00222933.2016.1193646⟩. ⟨hal-01602442⟩

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