MODERATE FIG Ficus moderata  Corner (1962)                   Synonym for F. satterthwaitei

Latin: Moderate referring to the external features of the fig  “in between”  Ficus hispida and Ficus fistulosa.

Taxonomy: Corner (1962) described Ficus moderata as a new species, endemic to Borneo based on the stubby bracts on the side of the fig.

Berg (2005)  treated F. moderata as a synonym of F. satterthwaitei  stating that “the only difference in the (F. satterthwaitei)  material from the Philippines  and that (of Ficus moderata)  from Borneo is found in the presence of  “lateral bracts” in the upper part of the fig receptacle, being displaced apical bracts, thus possibly an aberration”

Berg(2005) further confuses the issue by stating that F. nota (a closely related species) does sometimes have lateral bracts on the side of the fig but that F. satterthwaitei does not. If one follows  the descriptions in Berg (2005) then the fig fruits illustrated on the cover of Berg (2005)  are of Ficus nota NOT F. satterthwaitei.

CONCLUSION

1. Two very similar figs are confined to islands in the southern Philippines and northern Borneo with a similar distribution (1) F. nota and (2) F. satterthwaitei.
2. They are distinguished by some very small differences  (1) F. nota leaves have a cordate (heart shaped base) whilst the leaves of F. satterthwaitei are cordate (lobed) on one side or cuneate.
3.  F. nota fig fruits  have small flat bracts which occur both on the side of the fig and surrounding the ostiole.
4. F. satterthwaitei figs have large prominent fleshy bracts surrounding the ostiole and occasionally on the side of the fig fruit.
5. Intermediates between the two species do occur indicating hybridization.
6. F. moderata is closest to and is therefore a synonym for F. satterthwaitei.