Crimson Sunbird and Dischidia major flowers

on 24th May 2016

SunbirdC-Dischidia rafflesiana  [DavidTanKokKheng]

David Tan’s image shows a male Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) taking nectar from a flower of an ant plant, Dischidia major (previously D. rafflesiana, identified by Johnny Wee).


Dischidia major is a creeping epiphyte that grows on the branches of old trees. The leaves are small, roundish and thick. Some leaves develop into hollow pitchers that are inhabited by ants (above, below, scale = mm – YC Wee). These ants bring in organic debris that provides nutrients to the plant.

Dischidia major - cut open 1

Flowers are small, greenish-yellow, borne on a short stalks and flask-shaped. They do not open out, thus the sunbird has to probe into the flower to get at the nectar.

An earlier account can be viewed HERE.

David Tan Kok Kheng & YC Wee
14th May 2016

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography 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.

Other posts by YC Wee

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