Spidethunters, as the name implies, is supposed to feed on spiders. However, there has been “no record of web-robbing” (Wells, 2007) as its animal diet is not known.
Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman managed to photograph a Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster) hovering in front of a bunch of banana flowers collecting nectar from the flowers.
As Dr Redzian writes, “This picture describes very well why Malays call it ‘Kelicap Jantung’ meaning bird that feeds on ‘jantung pisang’ (banana heart).”
It is well known that this spiderhunter feeds on nectar from flowers of banana (Musa), coconut (Cocos nucifera), African tulip (Spathodea campanulata), durian (Durio zibethinus) and Jacaranda filicifolia. What is not known is its animal food.
Wells, D.R. (2007). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London.
Then how did the name Spider Hunter come about? I have seen the Steaked SpiderHunter feasting on flowers too up at Fraiser Hills but never seen any animal food taken.
You got me there!
Bird Ecology Study Group » Little Spiderhunter and wild banana plant
[…] have documented the spiderhunter drinking nectar from the cultivated banana plants… the Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster) and Little Spiderhunter. This post shows one feeding from a wild banana […]