A large Ficus annulata strangler growing as a stand alone tree in an oil palm estate at Tabin in Sabah.
This strangler was fruiting in January 2021, but the figs were not quite ripe and fig fruits had obviously be gnawed by a mammal with sharp teeth.
The most likely explanation is that the figs had been gnawed by a Plantain Squirrel to eat the fig wasps which had started to emerge from the ostiole.
Ficus annulata like all Section Conosycea figs (stranglers) is monoecious and can produce both seeds and fig wasps from the same fig. However the fig wasps turn adult a few days before the fig ripens and becomes attractive to birds and mammals. The fig wasps all leave the fig in a mass movement lasting one or two days prior to ripening so that they wont be eaten.
However Plantain Squirrels have worked out that this wasp leaving stage is the best time to catch the fig wasps !
All photos by Dr Zainal Zahari Zainuddin the BORA site manager of the fig orchard at the Sabah Ficus Germplasm Project.