ABOVE: The magnificent male fruit of a male Ficus cereicarpa tree at Lambir Hills Park in N. Sarawak. Note that there are effectively two bunches of figs in the photo above, a mature bunch and a juvenile bunch.
All photos by Jean-Yves Rasplus taken on 13 August 2004.
According to Rhett Harrison who studied the phenology of Ficus cereicarpa as part of his PHD an individual male tree that was monitored regularly, produced fig wasps continuously over a 4 year period until a severe drought in 1997/98 led to the extinction of all the F. cereicarpa fig wasps at Lambir after two months.
F. cereicarpa is adapted to a non-seasonal ever-wet climate in which individual male and female trees produce figs almost continuously, not in synchronised flushes like most other Bornean fig trees. In most other fig trees the production of figs is synchronised within the individual tree but not in synchrony with other fig trees of the same species. With Ficus cereicarpa only individual bunches of figs are synchronised. Therefore each bunch will be be at a different stage of ripeness within a normal c.90 day fruiting cycle. It is this strategy which which allows an individual tree to produce fig wasps almost continuously. However as fig wasps are very sensitive to drought this is only possible in very wet non-seasonal habitats.