Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Arachnothera longirostra (Latham, 1790)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Passeriformes
Family:Nectariniidae
Genus:Arachnothera
Species:A. longirostra
Common Names:Little Spiderhunter
Status:Common Resident

Localities

Bukit Batok Nature Park, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Pulau Ubin, Singapore Botanic Gardens

General Biology

The Little Spiderhunter lives in forests, forest edges, overgrown plantation and mature gardens. The flight is very fast and direct. A sharp ‘cheek’ is uttered during flight. It has a long slender tongue that helps it collect nectar from flowers.

Diet

It takes nectar from flowers like Durian (Durio zibethinus), cultivated Banana (Musa cultivar) as well as the wild species (Musa sp.), Torch Ginger (Etlingera elatior), Papaya (Carica papaya) and fruits like those of Mahang (Macaranga bancana). Animal foods include insects and spiders.

Life Cycle

Its nest is a long tube of fibres, moss and leaves, glued together by spider webs and attached to the underside of a banana leaf. There is only information on the number of eggs laid - clutch of 2-3.

Ecological Role

Taking nectar from flowers assists in their pollination.

References

Wang, L. K. 2011. Spiderhunters. Pp. 464. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Wang, L.K. & Hails, C.J. 2007. An annotated checklist of birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1–179, Singapore.

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