Ficus dubia and Ficus drupacea are two relatively common large stranglers which are easy to distinguish when they are fruiting but much more difficult when no fruit are available. The photos below highlight the distinguishing features of the two species. In all the photos Ficus dubia is on the left and Ficus drupacea is on the right. All photos of leaves and stipules taken by Shuai LIAO of two trees growing on Gaya Island along the trail from Base Camp to Police Bay.
Shuai LIAO’s original collection refs: F. dubia: 20190328 and F. drupacea: 20190321.
LHS: Ficus dubia. RHS: Ficus drupacea The leaves overlap both in size and number of side veins. With F. dubia the looped side veins at the edge are very clearly formed. With F. drupacea the side veins are looped but less clearly and branch (are furcate) at the edge of the leaf.
LHS: Ficus dubia. RHS: Ficus drupacea. The general appearance of both upper and under sides of the leaf are that Ficus drupacea leaves are darker green and more glossy and the side veins on both sides are more prominent on Ficus drupacea compared with Ficus dubia.
LHS: Ficus dubia. Has an awl shaped sharply pointed smooth stipule which is hairless and usually green or reddish green.
RHS: Ficus drupacea has a cone shaped stipule often furry or hairy.
LHS: Ficus dubia with fig fruits. Photo by Arlene Walshe
RHS: Ficus drupacea with fig fruits . Photo by Quentin Phillipps