Frugivory by the Streaked Spiderhunter

posted in: birds, Feeding-plants | 0

Records of frugivory by the Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna) have been limited (see my references). Most have been staged feeding sites where the fruit has been cut and offered at a bird feeder. In the past I have seen two Streaked Spiderhunters feeding at an Orange-Berry tree (no images) that attracts a host of bird species (no identification of the plant but appears to be a hybrid of the Buddleja globosa). I have also documented four lowland Spiderhunter species that have fruit in their diet.

Today I was able to document more frugivory by Streaked Spiderhunters. I saw a bird feeding on the fruit of a tree (see first 2 images above). The small orange fruit arises from the stem and it appears to be some Ficus species (trying to identify the tree). Many other bird species were also seen feeding on this fruit including the Hume’s White-eye (Zosterops auriventer), Mountain Bulbul (Ixos mcclellandii) and others.

Other food items observed for the Streaked Spiderhunters during this trip included:

  1. Ipomoea indica (Oceanblue Morning Glory), an exotic – nectar robbing technique was used.
  2. Cannaspecies (Orange-red cultivars), an exotic – conventional feeding technique (see image above).
  3. A spiderweb was carefully searched for prey (see image below).

One other observation of interest, that I missed while in the field, was a possible nesting bird with a fecal sac. I was watching a nesting pair of Lesser Shortwing (Brachypteryx leucophris wrayi) in a very dark location when a Streaked Spiderhunter caught my attention – I thought it had collected prey but when reviewing images today it looks like a fecal sac (see image below, the item was not eaten).


Amar-Singh HSS. (2020). Diet and Foraging Behaviour of the Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna). BirdingASIA 34: 114–120.

Amar-Singh HSS. (2013) Frugivory by spiderhunter Arachnothera species in Peninsular Malaysia.BirdingASIA 20: 76–81.


Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia


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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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