Spectacled Spiderhunter and passiflora

on 11th December 2008

The Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster) used to occur in Singapore, but no more. However, it is still a resident of nearby Malaysia.

As the name implies, it is supposed to hunt spiders. However, it is more known for its nectar diet than its animal diet. According to Wells (2007), its nectar source includes coconut (Cocos nucifera), coral tree (Erythrina spp.), rose apple (Syzygium jambos), durian (Durio zibethinus), African tulip (Spathodea campanulata), jacaranda (Jacaranda filicifolia), mata lembu (Firmiana malayana) and wild banana (Musa violacea).

Scarlet passion flower (Passiflora coccines) is now another nectar source for this spiderhunter. This is a semi-woody vine bearing large scarlet flower. The plant originates from Tropical America and is widely grown in many tropical country gardens and parks for its large and attractive flowers.

Input and image by Adrian Lim.

Corner, E. J. H. (1988). Waysides trees of Malaya. Vol. 1-2. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur.
2. Ng, F. S. P., 2006. Tropical horticulture and gardening. Kuala Lumpur: Clearwater Publication. 361 pp.
3. Wells, D.R., 2007. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London. 800 pp.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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