Photo above: Ficus aurata (female) one of the most common of the 20 species of Section Eriosycea figs that occur in Borneo.
INTRODUCTION TO THE 20 SPECIES OF SECTION ERIOSYCEA FIGS FOUND IN BORNEO
World: 29 species. Malesia: 25 species. Borneo: 20 species of which 13 are endemic to Borneo making Borneo the world center of diversity.
Section Eriosycea figs are distinguished from other Bornean figs mainly by the distinctive shape of the seeds which form a very rough 4 sided pyramid or tetrahedron.
The Bornean Section Eriosycea figs can be further divided both taxonomically and ecologically into two distinctive groups (1) Fleshy tepal group and (2) Hairy tepal group. These two groups can be distinguished by the form of the tepals surrounding the tiny fig flowers inside the fig itself. These differences are illustrated below
(1) FLESHY TEPAL GROUP: Section Eriosycea subsection Eriosycea.
7 species in Borneo of which only one is endemic: Distinguished by fleshy red tepals. The example shown below is Ficus fulva.
Photo above shows a ripe female Ficus fulva fig. The pink pieces are fleshy edible tepals which make the fig attractive to bird dispersers which swallow the seeds when they eat the tepals
THE 7 SPECIES OF SECTION ERIOSYCEA FIGS IN BORNEO WITH FLESHY RED TEPALS
|F. chartacea||Common forest shrub||Burma to Borneo|
|F. fulva||Abundant secondary forest||Thailand to Sulawesi|
|F. glandulifera||Very local. Poor soils only||Thailand to New Guinea|
|F. grossulariodes||Abundant S’wak, Kalimantan||Thailand to Moluccas|
|F. lumutana||Uncommon forest tree||Borneo, Sulawesi|
|F. subfulva||Rare small tree||Endemic to Borneo|
|F. tricolor||South Borneo mountains||Thailand to Moluccas|
(2) HAIRY TEPAL GROUP: Section Eriosycea subsection Auratae.
13 species in Borneo of which 12 are endemic.
Distinguished by the tepals made up of sharp white hairs or spikes. The example shown below is Ficus aurata.
Photo above shows a ripe female Ficus aurata fig. Instead of edible fleshy tepals surrounding the ovaries there are many sharp hairs. The orange objects are the stigmas of the female flowers. The ovaries of the female flowers now contain ripe fig seeds.
13 SPECIES OF SECTION ERIOSYCEA FIGS WITH HAIRY TEPALS. ALL SPECIES ARE ENDEMIC TO BORNEO EXCEPT FOR FICUS AURATA
|F. androchaete||Rare small tree Sarawak, Kalimantan|
|F. aurata||Secondary forest Malaya, Sumatra, Java, Borneo|
|F. aureocordata||Very rare West & Central Borneo|
|F. auricoma||Very rare Sarawak mountains|
|F. bruneiensis||Very rare (not Sabah)|
|F. brunneoaurata||West coast mountains|
|F. dimantiphylla||Rare Brunei, Sarawak|
|F. endospermifolia||Locally common Sabah mountains|
|F. eumorpha||Locally common Ultramafic Borneo|
|F. inaequipetiolata||Locally common Sabah ultramafic|
|F. macilenta||Locally common Borneo mountains|
|F. setiflora||Sabah mountains and west coast lowlands|
|S. subglabritepala||South Borneo mountains|