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Sunday, 19 May 2013

Night Walk At Venus Drive (17 May 2013)

Have been looking forward for the night to test out my new Sony SLT-A58K camera for night macro shoot. The weather is nice and dry, so I made a beeline for Venus Drive when the night got dark. For this trip I decided to make use of the ring-LED light that I bought some time back but was put aside as I didn't like the light-ring effect on shining subjects. Nevertheless, I decided to use it after considered that I may not be able to hold a torch light and adjust the focus of the camera with another.

The first beetle that appear was a commonly seen Darkling Beetle. It took me a while to get used to the features of the camera, so photographs taken for this beetle was not very sharp.


The second beetle that appeared looked very much like the Phyllophaga marginalis Chafer Beetle but it is smaller and with slightly different coloration.


Nearby was another Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus). This is a commonly encountered beetle in the night.


Further down the trail was another Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis). This is also a commonly encountered beetle, that can be found in parks and gardens. 


An unexpected find was this Fungus Beetle that was sitting on a leaf. Unexpected because this beetle is usually found on or near rotting logs. I didn't like the light ring reflection on the elytra of the beetle.


Coming to some fallen tree log, there were a number of this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis) on it. The ring-light worked nicely on this beetle unlike those beetles with shiny elytra.


On the same log was this 3mm Fungus Beetle (Platydema unicornis). This is the first time I come across this Fungus Beetle at Venus Drive. Interesting to note the unicorn-like horn on its head.


Another small (~3 mm) Fungus Beetle on the same tree log.


Moving onto another fallen log nearby. This time round the log was full of this type of Darkling Beetle, all about 10 mm in size.


A few of this small (~5 mm) Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicornis) were found the same log. The coloration of this beetle matches very closely with its background, which render it rather difficult to locate through the camera's view finder.


Moving along onto another fallen tree, I came across this 3 mm roundish Fungus Beetle.


On the same log was this great find  - a male Darkling Beetle (Cryphaeus gazelle).


An interesting find on the trunk of a tree. It is about 2 mm in size and looked like a black speck until you zoom-in and see the interesting pattern on it.


A curious little black beetle (~3 mm) was found on some large white fungus at the base of a tree stump.


On another tree was this 2 mm Fungus Beetle. It was a great challenge to photograph it as it was very sensitive to the light shining on it and was moving around quickly. The quick movements turned out to be challenging as I am still not used to the camera.


Another tiny (~2 mm) Fungus Beetle (Beccariola coccinella). Not easy to focus on such a tiny beetle especially when it was also moving around quickly. Only managed to get some sharper photograph when it decided to stop for a few short moments.


A Fungus Weevil high up on a tree trunk. A test of steady hands. This is when I realized that my the other camera (Canon SX30 IS) is so much lighter. The focusing and depth of field was a challenge for this overhead shot.


While photographing the Weevil Beetle, my attention was drawn to some movements at the lower part of the tree trunk. It turned out to be a 3 mm Click Beetle (Xanthopenthes schawalleri). Like the other beetles, it was hyperactive and was moving on the tree trunk quickly.

Desperate to want to catch a nice photograph of this beetle, a blew a breath of air at it. To my pleasant surprise, the beetle stopped moving and allowed me to photograph it for a short while.


Resting on a dead log was this female Darkling Beetle (Cryphaeus gazella). Notice that it does not have any horns growing out of its thorax, unlike the male beetle I photographed earlier.


Interestingly, there were a large number of this shiny little beetle (~4 mm) on another rotting log nearby.


Hiding in a crevice on a piece of broken tree log was this 5 mm Darkling Beetle. The good thing about this beetle is that it can remained pretty still for you to photograph, even with all the camera flashes.


On a leaf near to the log was this lone Fungus Beetle. I was not able to get a good shot of it due to its odd location it was found.


Finally the first Ground Beetle (~15 mm) for the night. This beetle was particularly cooperative as it didn't attempt to fly away despite the strong light. This was unusual as they often flew away when I photograph them in previous sessions.


Near to the above was this smaller (~10 mm) Ground Beetle with a much darker coloration.


Passing by some ferns, I found this tiny beetle (~2 mm). This was the only photograph that I managed to take before it dropped off the leaf because of the camera light.


Resting on a tree trunk was this 5 mm Darkling Beetle. It looked slightly rounder compared to the earlier Darkling Beetles.


Almost nearing the end of the trail, a pair of mating Lady Bird like beetles were disrupted by me. Interesting to see them move in unison despite one was moving backward.


The last beetle for the trip was this hairy Fungus Beetle, perfectly camouflaged with its surrounding.


This was a good trip as it provided me with some good 'field' experience working with the new camera in the night. I hoped to be able to shoot better photographs with this camera soon.