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Friday, 17 November 2017

Night Walk At Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (17 Nov 2017)

The weather was forecasted to be stormy in the late afternoon but it turned out to be cloudy instead. Taking advantage of the good weather in this monsoon period, I decided to go to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve for my macro photography session.

I was particularly looking forward to this week's session as I wanted to test out my new flash diffuser setup and more importantly, I wanted to try out my DIY grip for my Sony A6000 camera. I have been rather frustrated with the camera's grip as it was designed to be used with its original kit lens. As I am using an A-mount macro lens with the camera, the balance of the camera was off which makes one-hand operation of the camera difficult.

My DIY hand grip.

For this trip, I was particularly thrilled by the encounter with this brightly colored 10 mm bug. I am not sure what it is but it looked very much belonging to the Lantern Bug family.

The first beetle for the trip was a 10 mm Fungus Beetle found on a tree log used to line the path leading to the entrance of trail that I am taking.

On another tree log were several of this 3 mm Darkling Beetles.

At the entrance of the trail was this Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) munching on a leaf.

Near to the Chafer Beetle was a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus tetraspilotus).

A stone's throw away was a commonly encountered 10 mm Darkling Beetle.

There were a number of fallen logs that lined the sides of the trail and on one of them was this small 3 mm Darkling Beetle feasting on an orange color fungus mushroom.

On another fungus mushroom nearby was a 5 mm Rove Beetle.

Walking further down the trail, I was surprised to find a Pleasing Fungus Beetle (Triplatoma gestroi) on a torn leaf.

Near to the Pleasing Fungus Beetle was one of my favorite Leaf Beetle (Hemipyxis semiviridis).

Coming to a small tree, I was surprised to find several of this 5 mm Weevil Beetle.

On a tree next to the Weevil Beetle was another larger 10 mm Weevil Beetle (Microspathe fuliginosa).

Time passed quickly and I have reached the mid way point. I was glad to find this Long Horned Beetle (Epepeotes luscus) on a small bush.

Moving to the trail leading back to the "entrance", a 8 mm Darkling Beetle (Strongylium sp.) was found at the base of a small tree.

There were several freshly chopped woodpiles at the mid way point and among the woodpiles were a number of beetles. Several Darkling Beetle (Ceropria induta) were found on one of the woodpile.

On the cut portion of a chopped tree were several of this 5 mm Ground Beetle (Dolichoctis striata) running about the log.

Next to the Dolichoctis striata Ground Beetle was another larger 10 mm Ground Beetle on a leaf of the chopped tree.

Running along side the Dolichoctis striata Ground Beetle was another 5 mm Ground Beetle (Pericalus sp.)

On one of the chopped tree was a 8 mm first-time-encountered Click Beetle.

Next to the Click Beetle was a Fungus Weevil (Stiboderes impressus) found on a small tree next to the woodpile.

On another tree log was this 10 mm Click Beetle.

There was a small rock next to the woodpile and on it was a round 5 mm Darkling Beetle.

The last beetle for the trip was a 10 mm Fungus Beetle found on a ginger plant.

The trip was a fruitful one with a good number of beetles encountered. More importantly, I was able to test out my flash diffuser setup and my DIY camera grip. I am glad that my DIY grip works well and I can easily take photographs with one hand. As for the flash diffuser, I need to increase the size of the foam in order to fully remove the hot-spot in some of the photograph. Overall it was a good trip.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Morning Walk At Windsor Nature Park (11 Nov 2017)

It has been raining almost everyday for the entire week and this morning although the sky was cloudy, it didn't look like it will be raining, and so I decided to take a quick morning walk at Windsor Nature Park for some macro photography actions. I am not having much expectations as the place would probably be wet due to the heavy rain the night before.

As expected the vegetation were dripping wet with rain and many parts of the trail were muddy. Here's a photograph of a Common Sun Skink (Eutropis multifasciata) encountered near the end of the trip when the sun was up.

The first beetle of the trip was a Leaf Beetle (Lema diversa) found around a patch of low grass.

Near to the Leaf Beetle were several large Elephant Ear Plant (Alocasia Macrorrhiza) where several of this Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea) were on the underside of the gigantic leaves.

At the entrance of the Venus Loop was this lone beetle larvae, with an interesting spherical water droplet on it.

The surprise for the trip was the encounter with this Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) on a big leaf. I am surprised that it remained very still despite of my camera flashes. This is probably due to the cool temperature and wet vegetation.

A stone's throw away from the Tiger Beetle was a pair of mating 3 mm Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis).

Coming to a wood pile, I am surprised to find this 10 mm Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis) as they are nocturnal.

On a small tree further down the trail was this lone Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus westwoodi).

High up on the same tree with the Fungus Beetle was a 5 mm Fungus Weevil. It was quite a challenge photographing this beetle as it was way up the tree.

On the side of the trail was a tree stump with a large Bracket Fungus Mushroom and there were several of this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus politus) on it.

On a fallen tree further down the trail were several of this Fungus Beetle (Episcapha quadrimacula).

Because of the wet weather, it was only after a while of walking before I found this 2 mm Ambrosia Beetle on a leaf.

The highlight of the trip was the encounter of a "long time no see" Lizard Beetle (Languria mozardi).

Just a short distance from the Lizard Beetle was this beetle that I have yet to identify. It looked like Netwinged Beetle but without the netted elytra.

While I was walking along the trail, I saw a yellowish insect flew under a leaf. I was curious as to what insect it might be and so decided to take a quick look at it. To my surprise, it was a Leaf Beetle (Galerosastra sumatrana).

No other beetles were encountered until this 3 mm Fungus Beetle found on a small leaf.

The last beetle for the trip was a 2 mm Ladybird  Beetle.

As expected the trip was not as fruitful as previous trips but it was not unexpected given the less than ideal weather. According to our National Environment Agency, we are currently in the Inter-Monsoon period and thunderstorms are expected during this period. The North-East Monsoon will start at the end of November.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Night Walk At Dairy Farm Nature Farm (03 Nov 2017)

The weather looked fine and so my friend HW and I decided to go to Dairy Farm Nature Park for this week macro session. For this trip, we decided to head straight to the Wallace Trail.

Here's a non-beetle highlight for the trip - a lovely Elegant Bronzeback (Dendrelaphis formosus) that we came across along Wallace Trail. This is the first time I come across this snake at Dairy Farm Nature Park. Although this is a large specimen (probably about 1.4 m), its coloration is still very vibrant.

The first beetle for the trip was a 5 mm Darkling Beetle (Strongylium sp.) on the side of a small tree.

Just centimeters from the Darkling Beetle was a first-time-encountered 5 mm Ground Beetle on a small piece of broken twig.

A short walk from the Ground Beetle was a bronze colored Chafer Beetle having its meal between two leaves.

Further down the trail was a dead beetle larvae, probably a victim of the parasitoid wasp.

As usual there were numerous small 2 mm Darkling Beetles on many of the trees that lined the trail. They were usually by-passed because of their small size.

On a small leave was this 15 mm Ground Beetle all ready to fly away.

While I was photographing the Ground Beetle, HW called out to me that he found a beetle under a leaf. I walked over and was surprised to find this 3mm Long-toed Water Beetle. I have always wondered where do this diurnal beetle hide in the night and I finally got the answer.

Coming to a fallen log, a lone 5 mm Darkling Beetle was on it.

On another fallen log nearby were several of this 10 mm Darkling Beetle (Ceropria superba).

Interestingly for this trip, this was the only live beetle larvae that I came across.

Near to the beetle larvae was this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus politus) on the underside of a Air Potato leaf. I was intrigued as to why this Fungus Beetle was on the underside of the leaf as this type of beetle would usually be found on rotting log. My curiosity was answered at the end of the trip.

 Climbing up a gentle slope, I was surprised to find this first-time-encountered 10 mm Weevil Beetle (Microspathe fuliginosa) on a dead palm branch.

A stone's throw from the weevil beetle was another Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus). By now I am really intrigued as to why this Fungus Beetle was also under the leaf.

The trail was not very long and it took us less than an hour and we were out at the Wallace Education Centre. There is a patch of orchid plants (Arundina gramminifolia) near to the toilet where HW and I found an Orchid Beetle (Lema pectoralis) during our last trip. While talking about that trip, we were glad to be able to find one munching on a orchid flower.

As we were walking on the main road leading to the entrance of the park, the sky became very red and there were flashes of lightning. We decided to pick up our paces and make a bee-line to the shelter at the entrance where the toilet is located. Just when we reached the shelter, the sky started to pour cats-and-dogs. I am surprised that we didn't noticed the threatening sky, probably because of the thick tree canopy in the Wallace Trail. My intrigue was answered. Why the beetles were under the leaves? To find shelter from the rain. A lesson learnt for future trip - to watch the sky when I find beetles under leaves.

Although the number of beetles found on this trip was not as good as that at Windsor Nature Park, it was still a good trip with two first-time-encountered beetles found.