1. Wolbachia are very common and widespread endosymbionts of arthropods. They can
have a considerable effect on their host's fitness. It has been estimated that as many as
40% of arthropod species are infected with Wolbachia, but particular taxonomic groups
and ecological niches display significantly higher or lower incidences.
2. In this study, we combine an African sample with those of three previous studies from
three other continents. We reanalyzed Wolbachia incidence in 172 fig wasp species
(including pollinators, non pollinators, gallers and non gallers) associated with 81 fig
trees of six subgenera, and estimated that > 80% of fig wasp species are infected with
Wolbachia, which is far higher than putative global infection rates in arthropods.
3. We found that, within fig wasps, incidence does not vary consistently with respect to host
taxonomy, ecology or geography. In particular, incidence seems remarkably constant
across samples from different geographical locations.