Cave nectar bats (Eonycteris spelaea) are the main pollinating agent of the durian (Durio zibethinus) (Tomlinson, 1999). These bats are active at night and feed on the durian’s flowers. An earlier post LINK reports on the Common Red-bellied squirrel, also known as Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus), as another pollinating agent. Just like the bat, this squirrel also eats the flowers.
Recently, Tan Teo Seng, who owns a fruit farm in Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia, mentioned that Prof. Cheong Loong Fah spotted a spiderhunter (Arachnothera sp.) through his binoculars feeding on the nectar of the durian. Loong Fah, an avid naturalist, confirmed this, adding that he could not recall the species of spiderhunter. “The only thing that I remember is that it is not a Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra), and that it was “stealing” nectar from the side of the flower.”
Prof Cheong Loong Fah & Tan Teo Seng
Images by YC Wee: left durian flowers, right fruits.
Tomlinson, P. B. (1999). The botany of mangroves. Cambridge University Press, UK.