Approximately two thirds of the fig plants in Borneo are DIOECIOUS with separate male and female trees. The fig fruit of male trees act as incubators for pollinating fig wasps. Male figs are not eaten by animals and rot on the tree once the fig wasps leave. The fig fruit of female trees produce seeds but not wasps. As soon as the seeds are “ripe” the female fig is removed by dispersers- in the case of Ficus satterthwaitei this would be either a small fruit bat or a palm civet.
The male Ficus satterthwaitei tree photographed above next to the entrance to the butterfly garden at Poring in the Kinabalu Park is a good example of how to tell female fig trees from male fig trees. This tree is obviously male because mixed in with the green figs are numerous enlarged pale yellow figs some of which appear to be rotting.