Under local mate competition, sex ratio theory predicts that increasing numbers of ovipositing females (foundresses) on a site should lead to higher proportions of males in their broods. Fig pollinators have confirmed this prediction. It is also predicted that with decreasing clutch size, solitary foundresses should produce increasing proportions of sons. We show this to be true. Further, when several females compete, brood size decreases. As a result, the proportion of males increases, and this could provide a mechanistic explanation of sex ratio response to numbers of colonizing females. Therefore, sex ratio data on fig wasps need to be reassessed to determine whether females 'count' other foundresses, as is generally accepted, or whether they simply 'count' the number of eggs that they lay.
- Brood size
- Fig wasps
- Sex ratio
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)