Ficus rosulata, a small tree with cauliferous figs at ground level growing next to the Kota Kinabalalu – Tambunan Road  in wet roadside forest c. 900m asl in the Crocker Range Sabah. Ficus rosulata is listed as Ficus schwarzii in Berg’s 2005 monograph but was split by Berg in 2010.


Ficus rosulata: Typical leaves
Ficus rosulata. The figs are cauliferous and hang from the trunk for easy dispersal by small fruit bats flying in the forest understorey. F. rosulata is distinguished from other similar bat figs that ripen green (e.g. Ficus fistulosa) by the sharp pointed bracts that surround the ostiole of the fig fruit.
Ficus rosulata. You can tell that this tree is “male” and only produces “male” figs because of the numerous black ants which swarm over the fig fruit when pollinating and parasitic fig wasps are active.
Ficus rosulata. As well as the  presence of ants another indication that this is a male fig is that ripe  male figs rot on the tree instead of  being taken by fruit bats. Notice the rotting figs which have been ignored by fruit bats and civets.


Botanists Tony Lamb and Linus Gokusing looking for figs along the Kota Kinabalu-Tambunan Road that crosses the Crocker Range near to Kota Kinabalu. The forest along this road is probably the richest fig habitat in the world with at least 70 ficus species that can be seen in a single day, many of which are endemic to Borneo.  The western slopes of the Crocker Range are very wet and figs are most diverse in warm wet  forests.