Nectar robbing by sunbirds on the flowers of Morinda pubescens J.E. Smith (Rubiaceae)

Main Article Content

A.J. Solomon Raju
S. Sravan Kumar
G. Nagaraju
C. Venkateswara Reddy
Tebese Peter Raliengoane
L. Kala Grace
K. Punny
K. Prathyusha
P. Srikanth


Morinda pubescens is a dry season blooming tree species.  The flowers are hermaphroditic distylous, fragrant and nectariferous. Thrips use floral buds for breeding and flowers for food. Sunbirds, Nectarinia asiatica and N. zeylonica pick up thrips from the flowers by probing the flowers legitimately and collect nectar illegitimately by making a puncture/slit at the base of the corolla tube from outside. The illegitimate nectar robbing by sunbirds on the flowers of M. pubescens relates to primary robbing.  The study indicates that M. pubescens flowers are an important source of thrips as insect food and nectar as instant drink for sunbirds during dry season in the deciduous forest ecosystem.

Article Details



Arya, L., R.K. Narayanan, M. Verma, M., A.K. Singh & V. Gupta (2014). Genetic diversity and population structure analyses of Morinda tomentosa Heyne, with neutral and gene based markers. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 61: 1469–1479.

Bremer, B. & J.F. Manen (2000). Phylogeny and classification of the subfamily Rubioideae (Rubiaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution 225: 43–72.

Irwin, R.E. & J.E. Maloof (2002). Variation in nectar robbing over time, space, and species. Oecologia 133: 525–533.

Irwin, R.E., J.L. Bronstein, J.S. Manson & L. Richardson (2010). Nectar robbing: ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 41: 271–292.

Kesonbuaa, W. & P. Chantaranothai (2013). The genus Morinda (Rubiaceae) in Thailand. ScienceAsia 39: 331–339.

Maloof, J.E. & D.W. Inouye (2000). Are nectar robbers cheaters or mutualists? Ecology 81: 2651–2661.

Navarro, L. (2001). Reproductive biology and effect of nectar robbing on fruit production in Macleania bullata (Ericaceae). Plant Ecology 152: 59–65.

Most read articles by the same author(s)