Insect under foldscope

It was just an other day at our Pratham office , I went out for a walk in between . I noticed some fruits in a few trees. I could just identify one of the trees. Here are the images of  the two trees whose fruit I choose to look into.

Banayan Tree

I couldn't identify it's name

What I was planning to do was to dissect the fruits and look in the pollen’s closely, but I found interest in some other thing that popped out. I found two variety of insects that where preying in these fruits. I have captured them.

The first variety of the insect that I found. I got to observe it when it was still alive. It had this box shaped head with two sharp antennas. I could even see the inner section of the insects body. It was amazing.

The second Insect I observed. It had a long tail.

Insect 2
Insect 2
Insect 2
Insect 2
Insect 2
Insect 2

The best part was that I was not aware of any of its names, but observing small insects closely is really interesting. The way it was moving while observe really brought a wow moment.








9 Comments Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    @Smiya. I am so excited that I am jumping up and down in my house. How could I forget this that was part of my childhood. Firstly, fantastic images and video.

    Now the fruit as you well know is a fig . The interesting thing is that fig trees have a very specific relationship with wasps in that each fig tree is pollinated by a specific type of wasp. Now the wasp also injects its egg into the flower and the new wasp emerges from the fruit. India has some of the greatest diversity of fig types and correspondingly the wasps that fertilize them. The wasp is an integral part of the fruit’s development too.

    Often there are other wasps that inject the fruit with an egg, if it is previously injected by a wasp of another species. Sometimes the wasp injects it directly into the larva of the other wasp in the fruit. The combinations are tremendous. I suspect what you saw was a wasp that had not taken flight yet (wasps being related to ants, they look very similar). It would be super cool if we looked as different developmental stages of this in one fig tree, or different types of wasps from different trees. Also, it is possible that there are other insects and with a foldscope you can uncover these.

    The Western Ghats have a great diversity of wasps and figs. I am reminded of home . Keep looking great post and here is a project for your PRatham kids.

  2. smiya says:

    Thank You Sir.

    To go around looking for this and to observe whats next with these insects will be so much interesting. Even the two fruits from the plant of same species I found two types of insects. But yes its only after you mentioned that me and colleagues had a discussion on how different insects prey on different species of plants.
    This would be exciting to look for.

  3. laksiyer says:

    I think the one with the long “tail” is the female that pollinated the flower. the tail is the sting that is used to transfer the eff. It might have died after pollination.. Some figs have hundreds of wasps in one fruit and some only a few. Here is a nice documentary…

    However, now that you know you could investigate a whole range of them.. What fun.

  4. Manu Prakash says:

    @Smiya: What an incredible post. Just absolutely incredible. The joy of reading your post and the way you document you discovery; is absolutely fantastic. You bring the joy of discovery in anyone who reads it.

    Never seen such a small “wasp”.. could not have imagined this. I enjoy “fig fruits” so much; and now I now what makes one of the most delicious fruits for me.

    Please document and mark the trees; and see how many wasps you can find? Keep up the amazing work..


    1. smiya says:

      Thank You.
      I will definitely look for more wasps and keep documenting them.

  5. Manu Prakash says:

    Amazing documentary video @Laks. Thanks for sharing.


  6. Saad Bhamla says:

    @smiya- beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing. This just made my Saturday:)

    @laks that documentary you shared was one of the best I’ve seen in a while. An old Goldie:)


    1. smiya says:

      @ Saad Bhamla
      Thank You.

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