Saturday, 8 November 2008

Tarap Eaters

A large ripe fruit of the Tarap (Artocarpus odoratissimus) overlooked by the farmer is a bonanza and day-long feast for the neighbourhood's birds, squirrels and other frutivorous animals. Usually a squirrel would have found and made an opening in the thick spiny skin to get at the sweet pulpy flesh in the morning. Then the birds would follow; by late afternoon most of the fruit is gone and if anything is left in the evening, bats would clean it up. 

Photo 1 & 2 : Plantain squirrel (Caloscuirus notatus)

Photo 3: Slender-billed Crows (Corvus enca) are early birds

Or a civet would come in the early evening and open up a just ripened fruit; even a big civet would have difficulty finishing it so when it has had its fill there will be plenty to share with bats and other nocturnal animals and some left over even for the early birds and squirrels.

In this post, and more following posts I hope, I will present photos I took of some of the visitors to MY tarap tree in my backyard when it's in season. I rarely pick the fruits as they are literally for the birds, and squirrels and civets and bats...

1 comment:

Desmond Koh said...

I remember a tarap tree in SINGAPORE. A friend of mine, Richard Stookes, who had lived in Borneo, pointed out this tree to us when we cycled pass it in Ponggol. We stopped to look at the fruits that were ripe and hanging from it. Subsequently, we threw sticks at a rip fruit and managed to knock it down. It broke open when it landed and we ate the fallen fruit. It was delicious. I have tried looking for this tree and many others we boys were used to back then in the late 50s but have not been successful. Many in Singapore do not believe we had this fruit and others such as Milk fruit, Butter fruit, NAm NAm fruit, and Salam fruit in Singapore. That is their loss for never seeing or tasting these fruits in Singapore. My childhood friends of Hiilside Drive in Serangoon might remember them.