Saturday, 8 November 2008

Nocturnal Tarap Eater

One of the animals that come to eat the tarap fruits at night in my backyard that I was able to photograph is the Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). Possibly another species of civet - the Malay Civet (Viverra tangalunga) also does so though I've never seen it.

A nocturnal omnivore, the palm civet hunts alone. They are expert climbers and spend most of their lives in trees. They eat small vertebrates, insects, ripe fruits and seeds. They are very fond of palm sap, therefore their common name. The sap is used by natives to make a sweet liquor called "toddy", which gives the palm civet its other common name. The palm civet is also fond of coffee cherries. They eat the outer fruit and the coffee beans pass through their digestive tract. An expensive coffee called kopi luwak is supposedly made from these coffee beans. Kopi luwak is said to have a gamy flavor and sells for more than $100 per pound.

1 comment:

precher said...


I am owner and worker of a 32 ha. warm wet SUB-tropical botanical garden jungle.

Growing few thousand species. Lots of fruits but many I can't grow = too cold so I am finally getting to Borneo late Aug /Sept 2010 to eat durian, tarap, durio graveolens, mangifra casturi, etc.

Judging by your enthusiasm and love of ethno-botany and age we have a lot in common.

I'm warm enough to fruit and nut Mangifera odorata, Bactris gasipaes, Lecythis pisonis and cold enough for blueberry, peach, chestnut but not warm enough for durian coconut or cold enough for cherries and pears.

All Citrus, Wampi, Casimiroa, jakfruit, .... love it here