New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1983) 6: 33- 37

Honeydew and Its Importance to Birds in Beech Forests of South Island, New Zealand

Research Article
P. D. Gaze  
M. N. Clout  
  1. Ecology Division, DSIR, Private Bag, Nelson, New Zealand

Honeydew is produced by a scale insect (Ultracoelostoma assimile, Margarodidae) in some Nothofagus forests of South Island, New Zealand. The quantity of honeydew present and its sugar concentration varies through the year. Honeydew is a valuable resource for bellbirds (Anthornis melanura), tuis (Prosthemadera novaesealandiae) and silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis). Bellbirds and tuis were commoner in forests with more honeydew. Bell- birds spent more time feeding on honeydew when its sugar concentration was low.