Ficus midotis is a common, endemic, hemi-epiphytic, climbing Sycidium found in wet forest (especially hill forest) throughout Borneo up to 2,800m on Kinabalu. F. midotis is easily confused with 3 other Sycidium figs with similar habits, F. hemsleyana, Ficus rubromidotis and Ficus subulata.
All photos by Linus Gokusing were taken in Kuamut Forest Reserve in south central Sabah.
A fruiting branch of F. midotis is growing upright on top of this old stump. Another Ficus root climber (probably F. recorva ) is growing up the stump and sending out branches on both sides of Ficus midotis.
Note the whitish stipule /leaf base scar which crosses the twig horizontally where the fig fruit peducles (stalks) join the twig. Note also that this scar does not fully encircle the twig. In botanical terms it is “semi-amplexicaul“. If this scar was ampleicaul it would fully encircle the twig. Both F. hemsleyana and F. rubromidotis have fully amplexicaul stipule scars.
Note that the upper surface of the leaf is shiny (glaborous) with sunken (impressed) side veins. giving the leaf a corrugated (bullate) appearance. Ficus subulata has leaves very similar in appearance but with F. subulata the stipule scar is fully ampleicaul i.e. encircles the twig and the midrib is raised not sunken.
The red oval shows the smooth stipule. With F. hemsleyana and F. rubromidotis the stipule would be hairy. The blue circle shows that the stipule scar is non-amplexicaul i.e. it does not fully encircle the twig. The orange oval shows a nest built by small black ants and the yellow circle also shows ant activity. Ant activity on dioecious figs normally indicates that they are male. This is confirmed by the open ostiole on some of the green figs below.
The blue oval encircles the semi-amplexicaul stipule scar. With Ficus subulata the stipule scar would fully encircle the fig ( fully amplexicaul). Also note that there are no bracts (tiny flaps) on the side of the fig fruit. If this was Ficus subulata there would be occasional tiny bracts on the side of the fig fruits.
An old logging road in the Kuamut Forest Reserve in central Sabah. Typically forest left in this condition by over-logging takes at least 30+ years to recover
Note the old logging roads showing up on the hillside opposite.
The Kuamut River is a tributary of the Kinabatangan which flows from the Maliau Basin eastwards. The Kuamut District is a large administrative hilly area in south central Sabah roughly where the elephant is located on the map.
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