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Saturday, 12 June 2021

Mystery Solved! (11 Jun 2021)

 This is the follow-up of my previous blog post - Surprised Find From Changi Beach (17 Feb 2021) where I found two "unknown" larvae from the Changi Beach.



Of the two larvae found, only one managed to survive the trip from the beach. The larva that survived was later put into a large plastic container filled with organic compost and shredded dried leaves. 


In May, about 3 months after the larva was brought back and having not seen any movements in the soil, I decided to check on the container. To my pleasant surprise, the larva had made a pupa chamber. Not sure when the pupa chamber was made, I decided not to disturbed it further and put it back into the container. In my opinion, the best husbandry for growing out beetle larvae is to minimize any disturbances to the larvae besides cleaning out the larvae poop.  




On 11 June, I heard some scratching sounds in the container in the night and decided to open up the container  in the next day morning. Not knowing what to expect, I gently dig through the top part of the container and found bits and pieces of the pupa chamber. This confirmed that the beetle pupa has eclosed and has emerged from its dormant state. 

Excited, I gently pour out all the soil and "dig" around using my hands. Finally, the answer to my speculation of what type of beetle the larvae belongs to, will be answered in a short moment.

My initial gut feel that the larvae could be that of the Orcytes rhinoceros beetle was correct. A beautiful adult female O. rhinoceros was found.









Although the anticipation of whether the larva would survive and emerge as an adult was pretty unbearable, it has been an interesting journey of rescuing two unknown beetle larvae, growing out of the larva, pupation and emerging as adult beetle.  If there are other opportunities to rescue more beetle larvae in the future, I will gladly go through the journey again. 😀






Friday, 4 June 2021

Night Walk At Mount Faber Park (04 Jun 2021)

My last blog post was more than a month ago, partially due to the Covid-19 measures, termed as Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), and partially due to the exceptionally warm weather that we are experiencing in Singapore. In fact, I was all ready to go for a macro photography session last week, but cancelled it last minute due to the warm weather. Although the weather was still as warm today, there was some rain in the afternoon. As such, I decided to proceed with the session with my friend HW, and go to the Mount Faber Park as previously planned.

Here's a photograph of some small mushrooms growing on a fallen log.



The first beetle for the trip was a pretty commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Maladera castanea).


The next beetle encountered was a commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis), hiding behind a curled up leaf.


A surprise find was a 12 mm Long Horned Beetle (Pterolophia melanura) resting on the underside of  a tree vine.


After encountering the Long Horned Beetle, it took us quite a while before we found this first-time-encountered 3 mm Leaf Beetle. I am not too sure of the identity of this beetle, but it could possibly be Basilepta anthracina.


Immediately after encountering the Leaf Beetle, I was happy to find several of this Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) resting together on some low bushes.


The next beetle looked similar to those Darkling Beetles that I previously encountered, except for the size of the beetle is half the size of previously encountered beetles, at about 10 mm. As such, I put this as a first-time-encountered beetle. 


While I was looking for other beetles, HW called out to me that he found this False Click Beetle, resting on the underside of a leave. To photograph it, I had to carefully turn over the leaf with my left hand while using my right hand to photograph it.


The trail that we took seemed to have been disused for a while and we ended up bashing through the thick undergrowth for a good part of the trip in order to reach the summit of Mount Faber Park. By the time we reached the summit, I was drenched through to my skin by my own perspiration. Pretty tired from the unexpected "exercise", we decided to call it a day and headed towards the way to the bottom of the hill.  Just then I found this small 3 mm Darkling Beetle on a small stool made from a sawn tree trunk. 

The trip was particularly tiring due to the unexpected "exercise" needed to get to the summit of Mount Faber Park. The number of beetles encountered during the trip was a great dismal as I was hopeful that we will be able to find a lot more beetles than this. Nevertheless, this is still a wonderful trip as I am able to test out my DIY fix to the camera problem mentioned in my previous blog post. 

Lastly, I have decided to go back to my previous style of writing more for the blog post. Personally, I prefer to write more as compared to just putting the information on the beetles encountered, even though this will take a lot more time to write the post. May be I will do this for the moment while the Covid-19 pandemic is still going on. 

Until my next post, stay safe and stay at home! 

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Night Walk At Mount Faber Park (23 Apr 2021)

It has been a while that I did any macro photography session, this is mainly due to some problems with my camera recently. Taking advantage of the fine weather, I decided to recce a part of Mount Faber Park that I saw on Google Map. 

Sadly, my camera was still not working properly in that the camera was not able to detect my macro lens. Nevertheless, I decided to continue with the "default" setting of 1/200 and F-- (yes, the aperture was not set according to my selection, probably due to the problem of not able to detect the macro lens). Hopefully, I can do something to resolve the problem.

Enough of my "sorrows", but before I continue I would like to apologize for the quality of the photographs as I was not able to gauge too well the focus due to the mentioned problem.  Here's an ant-mimic spider that I came across during the trip. It looked so much like the commonly encountered Golden Ant (Polyrhachis illaudata).



Darkling Beetle ~ 4 mm


Fungus Beetle (Amblyopus vittatus) ~ 10 mm


Chafer Beetle (Matadera castanea) ~ 8 mm


Long Horned Beetle (Aeolesthes holosericeus) ~ 15 mm


Darkling Beetle ~ 10 mm


Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) ~ 10 mm


Darkling Beetle ~ 10 mm


Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) ~ 8 mm


Tortoiseshell Beetle (Aspidimorpha miliaris) ~ 12 mm


Darkling Beetle ~ 2 mm


Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) ~ 15 mm

Although during this trip not many beetles were encountered, I am glad that the location seemed promising and I will surely go back there in the near future.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Surprised Find From Changi Beach (17 Feb 2021)

It has been a while that I last posted anything in this blog. It was due to multiple reasons for the lack of activities, but primarily due the reason that I got lazy due to Covid-19 measures, and also the rekindling of one of my "old" hobbies - inter-tidal walks which competed with the macro-photography sessions. May be I should consider starting a blog on inter-tidal walks in Singapore.

It was on one of these recent inter-tidal walks that reminded me of something that I "discovered" years ago at the Changi Beach, which I am sharing now in this blog - beetle larvae can be found on Changi Beach. Yes, you read it correctly, I "discovered" that you can regularly find beetle larvae at Changi Beach during low tides. 

Here's where beetle larvae can be found at Changi Beach. You can literally find beetle larvae lying on their sides on the sand, very much like a sea-shell or the commonly encountered Pink Warty Sea Cucumber at Changi Beach. Interestingly these beetle larvae are very buoyant and are able to float in sea water. 


During one of my recent trips to Changi Beach, I managed to find two beetle larvae at the beach. Out of curiosity as to what kind of beetle these larvae are from, I decided to bring them home to see if I can  raise them into adult beetles. Sadly, one didn't make the trip and was dead upon arrival at my home. 

When I "discovered" them years ago, I have a strong suspicion that these beetle larvae are from neighboring islands such as Pulau Ubin, Tekong Island or even Malaysia.  Looking at the larvae, they are likely to be the larvae of Coconut Beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) or Rhinoceros Beetle (Xylotrupes gideon).

Here's the photographs of the beetle larva that remained.



Upon closer examination of the beetle larva at home, it looks very much like a Oryctes rhinoceros larva. Hopefully I can keep the larva to maturity and see if my observation is correct. I will update if I am successful in raising the larva to adult beetle.





Monday, 30 November 2020

Night Walk At Tampines Eco Green (27 Oct 2020)

 It has been raining a lot in Singapore recently and together with my busy schedule, I have not done any macro photography session for quite a while. Taking the opportunity that the weather was pretty dry for the day, HW and I decided to go for a night macro session at Tampines Eco Green,

As mentioned in my previous post, there seemed to be something wrong with my camera that caused the focus of my camera not as sharp as before. Nevertheless, I am determined to get some photographs during this session.

Here's a photograph of an Asian Red and Black Long Horn Grasshopper. I particularly like this shot as the brown dried grass seeds contrasted strongly with the grasshopper. 


Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus) ~ 8 mm


Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) ~ 8 mm


First-time-encounter Long Horne Beetle (~15 mm) found on the boarding put up for the constructions along the Tampines river.


Chafer Beetle (Aprosterna pallide) ~ 8 mm


Chafer Beetle (Maladera castanea) ~ 5 mm


Gold Dust Weevil (Hypomece squamosus) ~ 15 mm

Although the trip was not fruitful, the Gold Dust Beetle encountered near the end of our trip has made the trip worth the while as it has been years I last encountered the Gold Dust Beetle.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Night Walk At Windsor Nature Park (09 Oct 2020)

 After getting over the inertia of going out of the house, HW and I decided to go to Windsor Nature Park for our regular macro photography session. It could possibly be too long that I didn't use my camera, my camera was working up and I was having problems with taking proper shots through out the trip. The camera kept refusing to focus properly and the aperture also kept freezing up in between shots.  Nevertheless, here are some of the more presentable photographs for the night. Please pardon some of the slightly out of focus shots.

A relatively big Tree Hopper (~ 25mm) was the first critter encountered at the place.



Beetle larva ~ 2 mm


Ground Beetle (Onyptergia longispinis) ~ 25 mm


Rove Beetle ~ 3 mm


Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicornis) ~ 8 mm


Daarkling Beetle ~ 3 mm


Darkling Beetle (Ceropria superba) ~ 10 mm


Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) ~ 8 mm


Darkling Beetle ~ 10 mm


Darkling Beetle (Gonocephalum depressum) ~ 15 mm


Darkling Beetle ~ 5 mm


Ground Beetle ~ 25 mm


Chafer Beetle ~ 10 mm


Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus tetraspilotus) ~ 10 mm

This trip was not particularly fruitful, partially because of the weather and partially due to the malfunctioning of my camera. Nevertheless, this is still a good trip especially it is after a while of non-action.