Plantain Squirrel eating figs

posted in: Mammals, Plants | 0

Michael Khor’s image shows a Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) eating figs of the Common Red Stem-fig (Ficus variegata).

Squirrel-Ficus variegata [MichaelKhor]

This is a very tall tree with figs growing in bunches all along the branches and huge trunk. Figs are green turning rose-red when ripe. When ripe the tree makes an awesome sight.

The figs are hollow. Found inside are numerous small flowers – male, female and gall flowers. The gall flowers are sterile female flowers. Pollination is by tiny fig wasps that enter the fig via the tiny opening at the base. Once inside, the wasp transfers the pollen to the many female flowers and then lay her eggs inside a gall flower. The wasp then dies. The eggs laid inside the gall flower eventually develop into adult wasps. These wasps then exit the fig through the opening at the base of the fig where the male flowers are. The wasps will be covered with pollen when they emerge from the fig to seek out another plant with figs to repeat the process – LINK. Without the wasps the plant will not be able to form seeds. Without the tree the wasps will not be able to reproduces itself.

Fig trees attracts numerous birds when figging.

Michael Khor
7th April 2017

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