Grey-breasted Spiderhunter  – food sources

posted in: birds, Feeding-plants | 0

Images of a Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera modesta modesta) coming out of the forest to feed on the nectar of the  Musa ornata (Musa violacea, Flowering Banana), a favourite of the bird. I have summarised below most of my observations of food sources over the years. As this bird comes out of the forest to visit village gardens, the range is much larger than my list.

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter perching on the inflorescence of Musa ornate.

A simple image search online will show many other nectar sources including wild gingers, nectar of the Spathodea campanulata (African tulip tree) and a number of garden plants. Their beak is often stained with pollen. Fruit is less common, but no fruiting season of the Macarangas will pass without me seeing a few of them feeding there. Insect prey has been the hardest to observe but I am sure juveniles are fed animal prey.

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter taking nectar from Musa ornate flowers.

Personal Observations of Food Sources of the Grey-breasted Spiderhunter:

Nectar sources

Musaceae species (various Banana species, native and exotic)

Musa ornata (Musa violacea, Flowering Banana, native species)

Musa x paradisiaca ‘Seribu’ (Musa ‘1000 Fingers’ Banana)

Dendrophthoe pentandra (Malayan Mistletoe)

Cocos nucifera (Coconut)

Clerodendrum thomsoniae (Bleeding-Heart Vine)

Malvaviscus arboreus (Wax Mallow, Ladies Teardrop)

Erythrina species

Other unidentified forest tree flowers

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter taking nectar from Musa ornate flowers.

Fruit sources

Macaranga bancana

Macaranga gigantea (Giant Mahang)

Another possible fruit source is Glochidion sumatrana (Cleistanthus sumatranus)

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter perching on the inflorescence of Musa ornate.

Animal Prey



Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Location: Kledang-Saiong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Fringe of forest reserve

Date: 14th September 2020

Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

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