The story of the fig wasp

My wife sent me a link to this video today. I’m not sure how accurate it is but interesting none the less. If you ever wondered how the fig wasp enhances figs like Desert King this video tries to explain it in a down to earth and simple way.


No desert king fig tree for me.

Ain’t nature neat!


Unless I am mistaken, I don’t believe the wasp is in Arkansas. Just portions of Calif perhaps.

But maybe we should mourn its absence in the East; figs are said to taste BETTER after the wasp has crawled into one!

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Yes, only CA, and parts of Europe and probably Africa or Asia.
We brought the wasps here on purpose.

My wife had been enjoying fresh figs the last few days and when she watched that she was disgusted. Had to explain to her the figs I grow are common figs. Told her she’s not eating wasps. Now ants are another story :grin:

We have wasps in RI.

You have fig wasps?

Sorry missed the ‘fig’ part.

Does anyone else recognize the taste of ants? I have eaten ants by mistake enough times that I can often tell when I am chewing on one.

Hey everyone knows they taste like chicken.

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They’ve always tasted sweet to me, but others have disagreed.


Ants taste sour. There’s something in it that makes sour taste. I never intentionally eat ant but accidentally a few times.

I have a friend who is from a northern part of Thailand where eating ant eggs is not unheard of. I can never do that.

I bit into a peach once without seeing the ant and got a zinger of a bite from the ant on my tongue. Probably didn’t appreciate the sour taste through the ouch factor!

Absolutely — The chemicals formaldehyde and formic acid are named after them (formica = ant in Latin), which has the same smell as their little crushed bodies, of course.

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The Chinese have used ant in their medicinal formulas for centuries. I actually have used a particular formula that had ant in it. Since I don’t know what ant actually tastes like, I can’t say that I tasted any in it. Plus, it is part of the overall formula that includes other herbs as well, so that might offset the taste. I will say that the pills did have an interesting aroma to them.

Here is some interesting information on the use of a particular ant in their formulas:

There are stories currently circulating in the popular media that all figs are serviced by wasps. This is false – in fact the majority of figs grown for fruit do not.