HomeFigsFig waspsBiologyFig classificationWasp classificationWaspWebBiodiversity Explorer

Ficus sur Forsskål 1775

 

Broom-cluster Fig

 

(Life; Embryophyta (plants); Angiospermae (flowering plants); Eudicotyledons; Order: Rosales; Family: Moraceae; Genus: Ficus; Subgenus: Sycomorus; Section: Sycomorus)

Ficus_sur Ficus_sur
Ficus_sur Ficus_sur

Ficus_sur

 

Apocrypta guineensis ovipositing through fig wall.

Ficus sur

Geocarpic figs.

Ficus_sur

Ficus sur

B-phase figs.

Ficus sur

Split open fig - releasing wasps.

Ficus_sur Ficus_sur

Angola, Mt. Tchivira (photos © Nigel Barker)


Angola, Tchivingura gorge (photos © Nigel Barker)


Distribution

Ficus sur Distribution

From South Africa to Senegal and the Arabian Peninsula.

Biology

Pollinator: Ceratosolen capensis (E & S Africa); Ceratsolen flabellatus and Ceratosolen silvestrianus (W Africa).

Habitat

In woodland and moist forests.

Frugivores

Birds, bats and monkeys feed on the ripe figs facilitating seed dispersal.

Chimpanzee

Figs of Ficus sur along with various other fig species comprise the staple diet of Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park (Uganda).

Insects

The larval stages of a variety of insects feed on the leaves or figs of Ficus sur including caterpillars of butterflies and moths, some of which have developed remarkable strategies to overcome the sticky latex contained in the leaves. Other insect larvae bore into the branches feeding on the wood or suck sap from leaves or figs.

Latex sabotage by Asota speciosa

Asota speciosa (latex sabotage by the Speciose Tiger moth caterpillar)

Myrina dermaptera (Lesser fig-tree bue, Scarce fig-tree blue)

Myrina dermaptera (Lesser fig-tree blue, Scarce fig-tree blue)

Myrina silenus (Common fig-tree blue)

Myrina silenus (Common fig-tree blue)

Fig_tree_borer

Beetle larvae of the Fig tree borer beetle Phyrneta spinator (Coleoptera) bore into the branches and trunks often targeting water stressed, damaged or older trees

Leaf Hopper bugs Hilda patruelis (Hemiptera) suck the sap  from figs and are tended for honeydew by pugnaceous ants Anoplolepis custodiens or Pheidole megacephala. By patrolling figs with bugs the ants reduce the impact of parasitoid fig wasps (which oviposit through the fig wall) on pollinator larvae and hence increase the reproductive fitness of the tree.

Description

(after C.C. Berg in Berg & Wiebes, 1992):

Biological form

Tree up to 30 m tall, terrestrial

Leaves

shape & colour

elliptic to ovate, chartaceous to coriaceous, apex acuminate to acute, base subacute to (sub)cordate, both surfaces glabrous to puberulous

 

size

4-20 x 3-13 cm

 

lateral veins

5-9 pairs, basal pair branched reaching margin below the middle of the lamina

 

petiole

1.5-9 cm long, puberulous

Stipules

1-3.5 cm long, pubescent, caducous

Figs

position

on up to 1.5 m (mostly 50 cm) long branchlets on the main branches and trunk

 

shape

globose, Ø 2-4 cm (fresh), glabrous rarely (sub)puberulous

 

peduncle

0.5-2 cm long

 

basal bracts

2-3 mm long

References

Berg, C.C. 1986. The Ficus species (Moraceae) of Madagascar and the Comore Islands. Bulletin du Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle d’Histoire Naturelle. Paris (4), 8: 17-55.

Berg, C.C. 1988. New taxa and combinations in Ficus (Moraceae) in Africa. Kew Bulletin 43: 77- 97.

Berg, C.C. 1989. Moraceae. In: R.M. Polhill (ed.) Flora of Tropical East Africa. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.

Berg, C.C. 1990. Distribution of African taxa of Ficus (Moraccae). [Proc. 12th AETFAT]. Mitt. inst. Allg. Bot. Hamburg 23: 401-405.

Berg, C.C. 1990. Annotated check-list of the Ficus species of the African floristic region, with special reference and a key to the taxa of southern Africa. Kirkia, 13: 253-291.

Berg, C.C. 1991. Moraceae. In: E. Launert & G.Y. Pope (eds) Flora Zambesiaca 9, 6. Natural History Museum, London.

Berg, C.C. & Hijman, M.E.E. 1989. Chapter 11. Ficus. Flora of Tropical East Africa (ed. R.M. Polhill). 43-86. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.

Berg, C.C., Hijman, M.E.E. & Weerdenburg, J.C.A. 1984. Moracées (incl. Cécropiacées). Flore du Gabon 26: 1276.

Berg, C.C., Hijman, M.E.E. & Weerdenburg, J.C.A. 1985. Moracées (incl. Cécropiacées). Flore du Cameroun 28: 1298.

Berg, C.C. & Wiebes, J.T. 1992. African fig trees and fig wasps. Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen. Amsterdam, 1-298 pp.

Burrows, J. & Burrows, S. 2003. Figs of southern & south-central Africa. Umdaus Press, Hatfield. 379 pp.

Links

PlantZAfrica (SANBI web site).

Credits

Photographs and distribution map © Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums) or © Jean-Yves Rasplus (INRA) or Nigel Barker (Rhodes University). Insect images © Hamish Robertson (Iziko Museums). Butterfly images © Steve Woodhall.

Ficus sycomorus sycomorus Linnaeus

Web authors Simon van Noort (Iziko South African Museum)

and Jean-Yves Rasplus (INRA, France)

Copyright 2004-2014 Iziko Museums of South Africa

website statistics