Amaze-wing Facts About The Little Spiderhunter For Kids


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The little spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra (Latham, 1790) is a bird species found in Thailand, Myanmar, China, and India's humid forests. They are members of the same family as sunbirds. Even though they appear similar in photos, they differ in some aspects. Unlike sunbirds, both sexes of the bird appear identical. Their plumage is mainly olive green, with white and yellow throat and belly, respectively. The wings are grayish-black and quite impressive in size.

The little spiderhunter name gives away its main distinguishing feature. It preys on spiders, but it is not their only source of food. Spiderhunter birds enjoy sipping nectar from brightly colored flowers. The bird will leave the forest and go to gardens full of flowering plants. The spiderhunter is a non-migratory bird that breeds from March to September. The female gives birth to two to three chicks, and the entire family lives in the female's special nest.

Learn more about the description of the little spiderhunter, diet, and more characteristics. Find interesting facts for birds like sanderlings and hummingbirds at Kidadl.

Little Spiderhunter Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a little spiderhunter?

The little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra), a member of the Nectariniidae family, is a species of bird usually seen in the forests of South and Southeast Asia. The bird has nine subspecies with different scientific names. Some of the scientific names of the sub-species of these birds are Arachnothera longirostra longirostra, Arachnothera longirostra pallida, Arachnothera longirostra niasensis, and Arachnothera longirostra rothschildi. Each subspecies has its own geographic range and will have subtle differences in plumage.

What class of animal does a little spiderhunter belong to?

The long-billed, nectar-feeding little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) is a member of the class Aves, just like a tailorbird. Their family, genus, and species are Nectariniidae, Arachnothera, and Longirostra, respectively.

How many little spiderhunters are there in the world?

The population of the little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) is unknown, but it appears to be stable.

Where does a little spiderhunter live?

The little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) lives in the wild corners of the world, particularly the subtropical and tropical moist forests of South and Southeast Asia. The little spiderhunter range map extends from India to Indonesia. Their geographic distribution range includes Central, West, and North-East India, Thailand, W Sumatra, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Nepal.

What is a little spiderhunter's habitat?

Subtropical and tropical moist forests, mangroves, and shrublands make up the natural habitat of the little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra). Apart from the usual little spiderhunter habitat, the birds can also be seen in gardens feeding on flower nectar. In the forests, the birds stay under the canopy.

Who do little spiderhunters live with?

This member of the Nectariniidae family lives alone, in pairs, or in small groups.

How long does a little spiderhunter live?

A little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) lives around five years of age.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding cycle of the little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) varies depending on the location. For instance, in North East India, this species of bird breeds between the months of March to September. In South India, the bird breeds between December to August. May to August is the main breeding period for the species.

The little spiderhunter female constructs the nest using a variety of natural materials like twigs, moss, spider web, grass, and leaves. The nest is built in the shape of a compact cup, which is suspended from a leaf. The chosen leaf can either be a banana leaf or broadleaf of any other plant. The bird uses spider silk to securely suspend the nest from the banana leaf. Due to the structure being under the leaf, the nest is well camouflaged by the surrounding foliage. For this, the bird hovers around the spider nest to get the cobwebs. This is another reason for it being referred to as spiderhunter. The nest is designed to hold two to three little spiderhunter eggs. In a season, the little spiderhunter can have two broods.

The eggs of the little spiderhunter are distinct from those of other spiderhunters in appearance. The color of the eggs ranges between white and pink with reddish-brown specks. The eggs are not glossy and are quite fragile.

What is their conservation status?

Due to its stable population, the little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) is a species of Least Concern. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the population of the species is stable in countries like China, India, parts of Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Nepal. However, in Singapore, the birds are no longer found in the wild. These birds are not very common in Eastern Thailand, either.  

Little Spiderhunter Fun Facts

What do little spiderhunters look like?

Arachnothera longirostra is a species that belongs to the order Passeriformes and family Nectariniidae.

The little spiderhunter's appearance is quite sober. The birds have an olive green upper plumage, white throat, and yellow belly. The wings of the birds are grayish-black and the tiny head has black-colored eyes. The legs of the birds are black in color as well. There is an appearance of some short streaks, that isn't nearly as prominent as the markings in the streaked spiderhunter birds.

The little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) beak is what distinguishes it from other bird species. This feature can help in the easy identification of this species. The beak, which helps it gather nectar from flowers is thin, long, and curved and is around 1.4 in (3.5 cm). Also, unlike other sunbirds, the little spiderhunter male looks similar to the female. All males will have an all-black beak while females have a lighter-colored beak. The female's lower plumage is paler in color. The little spiderhunter wingspan differs for males and females.

How cute are they?

The little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) is a cute bird. The main reason for this is its petite frame.

How do they communicate?

The little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) communicates by making a range of calls. When disturbed or foraging, the bird makes a call that sounds like 'tzeck or zick-zick'. Its song is made up of a series of fast chipping calls. However, the little spiderhunter is not very noisy.

How big is a little spiderhunter?

A typical little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) will be between 5.2-6.2 in (13.3-16 cm). Compared to the streaked spiderhunter, of the same genus, this bird is smaller in size. The streaked spiderhunter can be as long as 8.2 in (21 cm). However, compared to the rufous hummingbird of length 2.8-3.6 in (7.3-9.1 cm), the little spiderhunter is larger in size.

How fast can a little spiderhunter fly?

The little spiderhunter flying speed has yet to be determined. The bird is quite adept at fluttering mid-air when searching for a nesting site or foraging. Also, the bird in flight dips less and has a more direct flying pattern.

How much does a little spiderhunter weigh?

The weight of the male little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) is between 0.3-0.5 oz (10.3–16.1 g), while that of a female is between 0.3-0.4 oz (8.8–13.7 g). Both the sexes are much lighter than a rock sparrow, weighing between 0.9-1.3 oz (26-39 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both the males and females are referred to as little spiderhunters (Arachnothera longirostra).

What would you call a baby little spiderhunter?

The baby little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) is known as a chick.

What do they eat?

The little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) is an insectivore and nectarivore. And as the name suggests, hunts and preys on spiders. The little spiderhunter diet also includes insects and nectar from flowering plants such as bananas, Indian cotton trees, and Indian coral trees. During the breeding period, the spiderhunter will also feed on insects like stick insects, black ants, and other anthropods.

Are they poisonous?

No, they are not a poisonous species.

Would they make a good pet?

Since this bird is a wild species, it will not make a good pet.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

The French name of this bird is petit arachnothère.

The little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) is a pollinator of the wild banana and ginger plants.

People in Sarawak, Malayasia consider the call of the spiderhunter a good omen.

The family genus - Arachnothera means spider hunter.

The first description of the Arachnothera longirostra was by Latham, 1790.

Do little spiderhunters migrate?

The little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) is not a migrant. It has a stable wild population in the world. It is a resident of Thailand, Nepal, China, India, Myanmar, and Malaysia.

Is the little spiderhunter endangered?

No, the little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) is not an endangered bird species. It has a widespread distribution in South Asia. However, the wild population of this bird has been declared locally extinct in some parts of the world, mainly Singapore.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these bee-eater facts and savannah sparrow facts for kids.

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