Streaked Spiderhunter – nectar food sources

posted in: Feeding-plants | 0

“The Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna musarum) is extremely common and easy to observe at this hill station. We saw Streaked Spiderhunters feeding on a wide range of nectar sources, occasionally using nectar robbing techniques. Wells (2007) states that “For a species so regularly using hill-station garden habitat, flower-visiting behaviour is seriously under reported”.

“Nectar sources seen/documented on this trip include:
1. Holmskioldia sanguinea – commonly called the Chinese Hat Plant (native to the Himalayas). Conventional nectar feeding technique used (below).

2. Malvaviscus arboreus – commonly known as Wax Mallow or Ladies Teardrop. Both conventional nectar feeding and nectar robbing techniques used (majority of the latter). See below, showing both techniques (inset showing conventional feeding).

3. Nectar of flowering Banana (Musa cultivar). Conventional nectar feeding (below).

4. A species of Rhododendron (a creeper) that has been flowering in large profusion (same as the one I posted with the Little Spiderhunter recently). Very popular right now as a food source as flowering extensively in the hill station. Both conventional nectar feeding and nectar robbing techniques used (majority of the former). Will flutter to access nectar at times (even leap upwards to access nectar) (below).

5. Abutilon pictum – commonly known as Redvein Abutilon or Red vein Chinese lanterns (native to South America). Conventional nectar feeding technique used. (below).

6. Yellow flowering Brugmansia suaveolens – commonly known as Angels Trumpets (native to Brazil). The long tubular, trumpet shaped flowers result in the Streaked Spiderhunters use nectar robbing. These flowers tend to open at night (below).

7. Scurrula ferruginea – Rusty-leaf Mistletoe. Conventional nectar feeding technique used.

8. Callistemon species – commonly known as Bottlebrushes. Conventional nectar technique feeding.

Previous nectar sources documented include:

1. Poikilospermum suaveolens (Family: Urticaceae) – seen feeding on the flowers (they eat the flowers to get to the nectar) LINK.

2. Malvaviscus arboreus – nectar robbing seen.

3. Sanchezia nobilis – conventional nectar feeding.

4. Sanchezia speciose – conventional nectar feeding.

5. Canna species (an orange-red cultivar) – conventional nectar feeding.

6. Musa coccinea, commonly known as Scarlet Banana or Red-Flowering Banana – conventional nectar feeding.

7. Bottlebrushes (Callistemon spp.) – conventional nectar feeding LINK.

8. Pink flowering Brugmansia suaveolens (Angels Trumpets) or one of its hybrids – nectar robbing technique.

9. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (double pink flowers) – conventional nectar feeding.

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
19-21th November 2018

Location: Fraser’s Hill, Pahang, Malaysia
Habitat: 1300 m ASL, trail along primary montane jungle

Wells, D.R., 2007. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London. 800 pp.


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