Olive-backed Sunbird and Hoya spp.

posted in: Feeding-plants | 2

Inspired by our post on plants and the birds they attract LINK, KF Yap wrote in to say that he had observed the Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis) visiting three of his Hoya species: H. diversifolia (above-left), H. verticillata (above-right) and H. australis to sip on the flower nectar.

Thanks to KF who is an avid collector of Hoya species, we now have a new plant genus to add to our list of plants and the birds they attract.

Addendum: “Two interesting facts about the sweet Hoya exudates. Very few Hoya spp. produce coloured nectars. H. diversifolia, a local sp., produces a clear exudate which turns light-brown soon after. The possible explanation is that the nectar may contain a substance which oxidises rapidly. It seems to be non-toxic to the sunbirds. Most of the other Hoya spp. produce colourless nectars.” – KF Yap, 9th August 2015

KF Yap
Singapore
August 2015

2 Responses

  1. Dr Wee: Forgot to mention 2 interesting facts about the sweet Hoya exudates. Very few Hoya spp. produce coloured nectars. H. diversifolia, a local sp., produces a clear exudate which turns light-brown soon after. The possible explanation is that the nectar may contain a substance which oxidises rapidly. It seems to be non-toxic to the Sunbirds. Most of the other Hoya spp. produce colourless nectars.

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