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NICOLLE R. FULLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NICOLLE R. FULLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fig tree and wasp, conceptual illustration. The common fig (Ficus carica) has a symbiotic relationship with the wasp Blastophaga psenes, which pollinates the flowers. In some cases, wasps try to lay their eggs without pollinating the fig flowers. In this case, the fig tree will often prematurely drop the fig to 'punish' the 'cheater' wasp (illustrated by the tree 'hand' throwing the fig away). This is an example of a symbiotic relationship where one side attempts to gain the benefits of the system without reciprocating. For the wasp life cycle, see image C022/9829.
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