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Blue-crowned Hanging-parrot taking flower bud from Syzygium cumini

on 3rd June 2014

“I spent many happy minutes enjoying the colours and antics of a diminutive male Blue-crowned Hanging-parrot (Loriculus galgulus) on a Java Plum tree (Syzygium cumini) at Bidadari LINK, as it moved almost non-stop through the upper foliage feeding on flower buds for the nectar they contain (see screen grab above).

“In the clips below, the hanging-parrot can be seen plucking a flower, manipulate it in between its bill to get at the nectar, then casting the remains aside.

“Taking a rest from craning my neck looking up at the parrot, I noticed the ground below the tree was covered with leaves with small round holes (below).

“Studying the tree more closely, I found that in fact most of the leaves had these holes, and it was explained to me by Craig Williams and Teo Siyang that these holes were made by the larvae of a bagworm moth (Psychidae), which are always under the leaves, wrapped in the circles of leaves which they cut out and fashion into a conical pagoda. I have circled in red two of them with the little cones (below).

“If each larva cuts a hole for a conical cloak for itself, I wonder if the number of holes on the leaves correlate to the number of larvae present on the tree? Or do they also eat the leaves which they cut out? Or do they change cloaks once in a while?

“I also found some berry-like fruits on the tree, which I suppose gave it the common name of Java Plum.

“More on the tree can be found on Wikipedia LINK.

Lena Chow
Singapore
17th April 2014

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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