Photos of a receptive female Ficus punctata by Dr Zainal Zahari Zainuddin.
The whole interior of this female Ficus punctata fig is densely packed with female flowers . The yellow layer on top of the female flowers are the stigmas (sticky receptive pad) on top of the pollen tubes (style) leading to the ovaries of the female flower below. The stigmas have stuck together to make a synstigma covering the whole inner surface of the fig.
This synstigma prevents the female from laying her fertile eggs into the ovaries and acts as a sticky receptive surface pad to receive the male pollen carried by the female wasp.
At the receptive stage the female fig will emit a scent to attract pregnant female fig wasps carrying pollen from a male fig to enter through the ostiole. As the female wasps move around trying and failing to lay their fertile eggs in the ovaries underneath the synstigma the pollen they are carrying on their bodies will stick to the synstigma on the surface and make contact with the ovary via the pollen tube (style).
The female wasp will die in the female fig without laying her fertile eggs on a suicide mission to ensure that the female fig can produce ripe seeds.
When female fig wasps which have hatched in a male fig leave the male fig they cannot tell if the scent they are following is from a male fig or a female fig. If it is a male fig they meet first they will lay their fertile eggs into the gall flowers in the male fig thereby producing more fig wasps before dying. If they meet a female fig first their activities will result in fertile fig seeds but their own fertile eggs will be wasted.
Thus the relationship between fig wasp and fig is totally mutualistic. One cannot survive without the other.