The second episode of the BBC TV natural history series
Perfect Planet included a short segment covering interactions between
Asian fig wasps and their host figs. Sarah Walsh was the researcher
for the project and kindly arranged with Silverback Films that unused
footage could be made available for educational purposes. Dominique
Vassie, a Masters student at the University of Leeds has sorted through
and re-arranged the footage and added a sound track to produce the
extended version available
You are free to view, copy and use the video material for educational
and other non-commercial purposes, but please acknowledge Dominique
Vassie and Silverback Films wherever this would be appropriate.
Steve Compton, April 2022.
Written & edited by Dominique Vassie
Music by Conor Emerson
Scientific Advisor: Stephen G. Compton
Animation by Dominique Vassie
Footage by Silverback Films
With thanks to the Thailand filming team:
Dr Wattana Tanming
And with thanks to the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden and the University
This film was produced as part of an MSc thesis for the University of
Leeds: Vassie, D.K. 2021. The use of documentary film footage to
understand the behaviour of fig wasps. MSc thesis, University of Leeds.
This film was produced for educational purposes only.
The fig - fig wasp mutualism is analysed and
some of the divergent features of the relationship between two African
fig species (Ficus natalensis leprieuri and F. ottoniifolia)
and their pollinating wasps (respectively: Alfonsiella natalensis,
later identified as Alfonsiella fimbriata) and Agaon
camerunensis and Agaon gabonensis (later identified as
belonging to genus Courtella) are compared through ecological,
ethological, morphological and evolutionary aspects.
This film has obtained two international
awards; has been shown on three different TV channels, and presented at
universities in 33 countries.