Turpentines – good licking for flying-foxes
Nectar and pollen: a balanced diet for flying- foxes
Turpentines will soon be flowering.
Listen for flying-foxes in them at night.
- Nectar forms in the centre of each flower at night.
- This carbohydrate drink attracts flying-foxes on their nightly foraging for food.
- It’s like a sports-drink, giving flying-foxes the energy to search from tree to tree during the night for enough nectar, pollen and fruit to last them through the following day.
- The yellow blobs are pollen grains, held above the nectar on the ends of white stalks, the stamens.
- Each pollen grain is a good source of protein for flying-foxes.
- The pollen contains genetic material needed to make viable seeds.
- As well as getting a good feed, flying-foxes carry pollen on their fur from tree to tree.
- This pollen transfer from tree to tree is essential for this species of tree to exchange genes and retain a healthy population.
Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera) is a member of the Myrtaceae family which includes Eucalyptus, Angophora and Callistemon to name a few genera.