Is there a dead wasp in every fig?

So yes, there is at least one dead wasp inside the figs that we like to eat. The figs produce ficin, a special enzyme that breaks down the insect’s body into proteins that get absorbed by the plant.

Do edible figs contain wasps?

If the fig is a male, she lays her eggs inside. These hatch into larvae that burrow out, turn into wasps and fly off, carrying fig pollen with them. Luckily for us, the female fig produces an enzyme that digests this wasp completely. The crunchy bits are seeds, not wasp parts.

Do all figs have bugs in them?

Considering how tasty and succulent these fruits are, you might be surprised to know that each and every fig also contains a dead wasp somewhere inside it. But don’t worry, you don’t have to worry about being stung or finding half a bug in your snack; in most cases, the wasp is totally undetectable.

Why do figs have dead wasps inside?

“If a fig wasp enters a female fig accidentally… there is no room in the interior for it to reproduce. And it cannot escape, because its wings and antennae have broken off. So the wasp dies inside, which is unfortunate but necessary because that’s how it delivers the pollen giving us the fruit we love.”

How do you grow figs without wasps?

It is also possible to trick plants into ripening figs without wasps by spraying them with plant hormones. Even when figs are grown the old-fashioned way, with wasps, the wasp is long gone by the time the fig crosses your lips. Figs produce a chemical called “ficin” that breaks down the wasp bodies.

How big is a fig wasp?

The female fig wasp, Blastophaga psenes, about 1.5 mm (0.06 inch) in length, was introduced into the western United States to pollinate the Smyrna fig, a commercially important variety.

Are figs full of wasp eggs?

It sounds like an urban myth – figs contain the bodies of dead wasps. But in this case, the story is completely true. Figs and wasps have a strange, mutualistic relationship: Figs rely on wasps to pollinate the flowers that are inside the fruit, and fig wasps need a safe place to lay their eggs.

Can figs exist without wasps?

Most commercial figs, like the ones you buy at the store, are grown without wasps . While wasp bodies may add some crunch to a tasty fig, you probably won’t find a wasp inside a fig you are about to eat, even if you look really hard. Some types of fig that are grown for human consumption have figs that ripen without pollination.

Is it true there are dead wasps in figs?

Indeed, figs do contain digested wasps, which become trapped inside the fruit during pollination. Without this gross and deadly cycle, neither the fig tree nor the wasp could reproduce. Figs are sweet, chewy, healthy, and yes, they do contain the digested remains of dead wasps.

What do animals eat figs?

Hundreds of animals are attracted to a fruiting fig crown during the day: toucans, macaws, pigeons, monkeys, etc. At night, nocturnal feeders such as bats and other mammals arrive. Forest floor animals like the agouti and capybara eat figs that fall to the ground.

What insects live in figs?

About Fig Tree Insect Pests. Among common pest insects of figs, the fig borers (family Ceramycidae) are unquestionably the most annoying and frustrating to manage. These long-horned beetles lay their eggs under the fig bark near the base of the trunk in early summer, giving their larvae plenty of time to develop before cooler temperatures set in.