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Sunday, 24 February 2013

A Quick Stroll At Venus Drive (23 Feb 2013)

Happened to have some in-between time of about 2 hours and since the weather looked fine, I packed my camera and went down to Venus Drive for a photo-trigger finger fix.

The place was nice and dry as compared to the previous sessions at Venus Drive. In fact it was a little too warm for comfort. Near the entrance of the trail, I came across this bronze color Leaf Beetle (3mm). It was not an easy subject to photograph as it was moving around from leaf to leaf, hardly stopping for a moment.

 Not too far into the trail, I came across this Tiger Beetle (Therates dimidiatus) resting on a palm leaf under some tree shade. Knowing well that this beetle is easily spooked, I used the tele-zoom to try to catch a good shot but failed. Just I was about to snap a better photograph, some trekkers passed by the place and spooked the beetle. This was the only shot that I managed to get during the short encounter. This is a bad shot but posting it to record the trip's encounters.

One of the highlights of this walk was this Spiny Leaf Beetle. It is slightly bigger than the other Spiny Leaf Beetle that I encountered during the Green Corridor walk, and the coloration is also different. Unlike the previous encounter where the place was wet and muddy which led to some lousy shots of the beetle, I was able to take some nice closeup shots of this tiny beetle.

After snapping a dozen of photographs of the Spiny Leaf Beetle, I walked into a shaded path and came across this Net-Winged Beetle (Taphes brevicollis) which was resting quietly on a leaf. Interestingly, this beetle was not as easily spooked as those that I encountered previously. So glad to be able to get some decent shots of this beautiful beetle.

 I was pretty much satisfied with the trip already since it is a rushed session and I was not expecting to find many interesting beetles. Just as I was leisurely walking along the path, this Tumbling Flower Beetle (Glipa malaccana) flew into my field of vision. As usual, I took some zoom-shots of it but they were not as nice as I have wanted them to be.  Nevertheless, it is better than not having any shots at all. When I was done with the zoomed shots, I decided to take some closer shots using the Raynox macros lens. Thankfully the beetle was not spooked and I was able to get some nicer close-up photographs.

 Walking along, I came across a fallen tree log with many tiny heaps of whitish saw dust on it. Upon closer examination, I found this tiny beetle (<2mm) moving busily on the log. It was indeed a challenge to photograph something so tiny, especially when it was so hyperactive.

Moving on a quicker pace as my time for the walk was almost up, I came across this tiny beetle on a leaf. It looked similiar to the beetle on the log found earlier on.

After spending a little bit of time on the beetle, it was almost time for me to go. Just then I came across this Leaf Beetle resting on a big leaf.

Moving along at an even faster pace, I came across this tiny little Ground Beetle which I initially thought was a bug. It was only when I zoomed closer that I realised that it was a Ground Beetle that I have not come across before. Almost missed a  photographic opportunity with such a beautiful beetle.

At the very of end of the walk, I finally came across a tiny Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis). It was surprising as this was the first Fungus Beetle after walking for almost 2 hours.

The trip was fruitful eventhough it was short. Glad to have made the trip and being rewarded handsomely with many photographs of beetles.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Night Walk At Sentosa (22 Feb 2013)

It's been a long while since I walked the Sentosa trail and since the weather was nice and dry, I decided to do a night walk at the Imbiah Trail on Sentosa island.

The first beetle to greet me was this interesting small weevil beetle.

Not much actions for most part of the trail until I decided to take a less travel path and there along the path were many of this shiny beetles (Colasposoma auripenne). They were all over the place, everywhere you turn you will see at least two to three of them on the plants.

 More of the shiny beetle.

I walked for a long while without seeing any other beetles. Guessed this is expected for a manicured nature path. Just when I was about to give up and go home, this long horned beetle turned up. It was pacing up and down a dried tree branch, as if it was looking for something.

 Near to the long horned beetle was this roundish beetle. Looked like a fungus beetle.

Further down the path was this big chafer beetle (Phyllophaga marginalis) which was having a great time munching on a leaf.


Nearing the end of the trail was a dead tree log with quite a fair bit of fungus growing on it. Staying motionlessly on the log was this ground beetle.

 On the way to the Sentosa train back to Vivo City, there was a stretch of  low hedges where a number of beetles were found. Here's a chafer beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) having its dinner.

 The same type of weevil beetle as encountered at the beginning of the walk.

 More chafer beetles (Maladera castanea ?).

And even more of the weevil beetles.

The trip was not as interesting as I have expected but nevertheless it is a good trip to have photographs of the various beetles.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

A Walk At The Green Corridor (20 Feb 2013)

Read about the Green Corridor (the converted railway track) in the newspaper and planned for a walk on the trail during my leave. My walk started from the Bukit Timah Nature Reserves and walking towards Clementi.

The first beetle for the trip was the commonly seen orange leaf beetle (Hoplasoma unicolor) . There was a stretch of its food plants along the trail and many were found feasting on the leaves.

Walked for a distance and there was no other actions until I came across this tiny (<2mm) beetle on a blade of grass.

The trail was not particularly easy to walk as certain stretches of the  trail were wet and muddy. The conditions were further worsen by bicycles that dug deep into the mud, forming muddy water puddles all over the place.

Was not paying too much attention at the surrounding fuana as my focus was more on the track, in order to avoid stepping into the soft mud. Despite the carefulness, I still ended up with a pair of muddy shoes and soiled pants.

Just when I was lamenting about the bad condition of the trail, a little black speck caught my eyes. Zooming in with the camera, I had pleasant surprise. It was a Spiny Leaf Beetle (Dicladispa armigera). What a find! I read about this on the internet but was not expecting to find it. I am even more surprised that it was so small (<2mm). Sadly, I was not able to get a very good shot of the beetle as it was moving around quite a fair bit, and given the wet ground which provided little support.  (Note to self - must remember to bring tripod or monopod for future trips).

In the vicinity of the Spiny Leaf Beetle was a blue color Leaf Beetle. It looked like Lema cyanella but need confirmation.

 Much of my time was spent focusing on the muddy path and hence was not really noticing what's on the side of the trail until this came along. It was a Tumbling Flower Beetle (Mordella fasciata), a different one from the Tumbling Flower Beetles (Glipa oculata) that I previously encountered.

Walking gingerly so as not to get too much mud onto my shoes and pants, the walk was painfully slow. Of course walking slowly does has its advantage as I managed to spot this partially obsured beautiful ladybird.

 The rest of the journey was not particularly eventful besides the muddy ground. The worse was a continous stretch of 50-60 metres of soft mud. I really hoped that something can be done about it.

Just when I about to end my walk, this tiny beetle flew across my path. It is about 3mm in size and what captured my attention was the pattern on or may be underneath its elytra. Lovely markings.

Near the ending point for my walk, stood this Leaf Beetle (Lema diversa).

Just only a stone's throw from the exit point, was this ground beetle on a big leaf. Its posture looked a little  strange though. While taking shots of this beetle, the sky started to drizzle and thus ended my first trip on the Green Corridor.
This trip was interesting, especially because of the Spiny Leaf Beetle and Tumbling Flower Beetle. Although the trip yielded some interesting beetles, the experience was marred by the muddy paths. Besides the photographs of beetles, I also go away with a pair of muddy shoes and dirty pants. Will think twice going back there.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Morning Walk At Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (16 Feb 2013)

The weather looked wonderfully fine in the morning, especially after almost a week of rain. It was a great opportunity for me to test out my homemade flash diffuser that I made a night before.

It was so simple that it took less than 3 minutes to complete.

The side view. The foam was secured onto the universal ring adaptor that came with the Raynox Super Macro Lens and can be removed easily.

When I reached the place, I was a little disappointed as it looked like there was a heavy rain in the early morning. All the leaves are still dripping wet. Nevertheless I pressed on since I am already there.

The first test subject for my homemade flash diffuser was this shiny leaf beetle. What an appropriate test subject.

The shots turned out much better than previous shots without the diffuser (as can be seen below taken from my previous blog entry). I should have make the diffuser earlier.

Walking further down the path, I saw a glitter on a rotten tree trunk. Curious, I took a closer look and found this 24K gold color beetle, no bigger than 2mm. The flash diffuser worked pretty well for this also.

Not too much action along the initial part of the way as it was still very wet. Looking closely at some leaves, I found this hairy little beetle of comparable size with the 24K beetle that I found earlier. You can still see little droplets of water on the elytra of the beetle.

Moving into some low hedges, I found this busy ladybird beetle. It was quite a challenge as it was hyperactive and was moving around constantly. Only to snap a few good shot of this fellow.

Just as I was snapping at the ladybird, a leaf beetle flew and landed just around the same plant. Only managed to snap a few shots of this beetle. Only later back home that I discovered that all the shots have the depth of field too shallow.

 Moving further down the path, I found another ladybird beetle which seemed to be more calm. It only started to move around after a few camera flashes.

Moving into the tree shaded path, I found this lone fungus beetle wondering quickly around a tree log. Was not able to get a good shot because of the fast movement of the beetle. Nevertheless, posting it here as a record.

 Love was in the air as I entered a part of the trail where there are literally few tens of this tiny little beetles (less than 2mm) crawling around different dead tree logs. One would usually sees them singly but this time round, I only managed to find one or two beetle alone.

 More of the busy little beetles.

Coming to a dead tree fallen by the path side, I found this fungus weevil with interesting pattern on the back. It looked as if it was carrying a cross on its back.

On the same tree trunk was this little beetle peeking out from a hole in the wood. I guess this possibly answered my question on where do nocturnal beetles hide in the day.

Further down, I found this fungus beetle on a log with lots of toadstools on it. I was able to take some good shots with this beetle as it was almost stationary, munching on a tiny toadstool. Guess this is where it got its name "Fungus Beetle". 

When I was almost at the point where I turn back, I accidently saw this beetle. I was pretty thrilled as I was not able to get any decent shots of this beetle previously. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, I took some tele-zoom shots at a distance which did not turn out well. Moving closer, I managed get some closer shots without spooking it. To my despair when I got home and found the depth of field 'problem' again. I must really see how to get the best out the macro lens.

Further down the path was this ladybird beetle. Nicely posing for the camera.

A tiny leaf beetle on a blade of grass. I must really work on the depth of field of my shots.

 The highlight of the trip - a beautiful leaf beetle perching on a leave. I have seen many photographs of it on the internet but have never come across it until now. How wonderful! And yes, the depth of field again.

Almost reaching where I started, I came across another of the tiny hairy beetle. The sky was threatening to rain but not wanting to let good photo opportunity goes by, I stayed on for a few more shots. Sadly, I only managed to take two or three shots and the sky started to pour. This thus ended my morning walk at BTNR.