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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Morning Walk At Lorong Halus (26 Oct 2013)

Recently a friend shared with me some macro photographs he took at Lorong Halus and it arose my curiosity on what beetles I would find at the place. The weather was fine and so I headed for Lorong Halus.

The first beetle that came into view was a Leaf Beetle (Aulacophora indica) that was caught in a spider's web.

Nearby were a number of the Aulacophora indica Leaf Beetle.

Moving down the path, a Leaf Beetle (Hoplasoma unicolor) was found resting on a fern leaf.

After walking for a while without finding any beetles, this tiny (~1 mm) beetle was a welcomed find. This is a first-time-encounter beetle.

Near by to the tiny beetle was this beetle larvae. This is an interesting larvae as it remained very still the entire time when I am photographing it. I guessed that it was enjoying its drink of "sky juice".

Further down the path, I found this Fungus Beetle on a tree trunk. It is interesting that it is still pretty active in the morning since this is an nocturnal beetle.

Moving to a patch of low bushes, several of this Leaf Beetle (Lema diversa) were found sunning themselves.

On the same patch of low bush was this small metallic blue Leaf Beetle (Lema cyanella).

A surprise was awaiting me when I looked at a tree along the path. A large number of the small (~2 mm) Fungus Beetle were gathered under the few "shelter" on the tree trunk. There were many other beetles gathered in the same manner on the tree trunk.

Coming to a patch of low grass, I found this first-time-encounter Spiny Leaf Beetle resting on a blade of grass. This looked like the Dicladispa armigera Spiny Leaf Beetle except that its body very much broader. I always find photographing the Spiny Leaf Beetles a challenge in getting the right Depth-Of-Field for a better photograph.

A stone's throw away was this first-time-encounter Net-winged Beetle. This looked like the Taphes brevicollis Net-winged Beetle except that its color is brownish-orange instead of red. This is the first time I came across a Net-winged Beetle feeding on flowers. This is an interesting find.

The time was about 10am but the heat from the sun was like noon time. It was getting very hot and it reminded me of the same experience when I was at the Sengkang Riverside Park.  Despite the hot weather, I persevered on and found this Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna cucurbitae) - albeit that it was breakfast for this yellow Assassin Bug.

The last encounter for the trip was this spiky beetle larvae. By now the weather was too hot for me to bear and I decided to end the trip.

Although this was a rather short trip with not many beetle encounters , I am glad that I can still find 3 first-time-encounter beetles.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Night Walk At Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West (18 Oct 2013)

I have been wanting to visit Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West in the night to see if there are any interesting beetle actions. I am a little apprehensive whether I can even find any beetles since it is a neighbourhood garden, surrounded by high-rise buildings. Nevertheless I decided to go there for a walk. It was almost 8 pm when I reached the place but the place was nicely lit like many of our parks and gardens in Singapore. I was really not expecting much from this trip.

The first beetle that came into view was this Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis). This is a commonly encountered beetle in Singapore and when it is in season, you will literally find tens if not hundreds of them in the grass fields. 

Nearby to the Apogonia expeditionis Chafer Beetle was another Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus). There was a large number of this beetle at the place. From the many holes on the leaf, it is not difficult to deduce that this is the favorite food plant for this type of beetles.

Moving further, I found this interesting looking Chafer Beetle. I initially thought that it is the Apogonia expeditionis Chafer Beetle but upon closer look, it turned out to be completely brown instead of the completely black coloration of a Apogonia expeditionis Chafer Beetle.

Moving to a low rattan plant, I found a small (~5 mm) black beetle on the main stem of the plant. Just as I snapped my first shot of the beetle, it immediately dropped into the leave litters below. Sadly, the first shot was not good but I still included here as a record for the trip.

A surprise find was this Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) resting on a fern leaf. I was not expecting to find this type of beetle here as they are usually found in sandy areas, whereas the foliage here are lush and green. Little did I know that this beetle would surprise me even further later on.

Pressing on, I came across another Chafer Beetle. This Chafer Beetle has a black thorax with brown elytra. It looked like a cross between the black Apogonia expeditionis Chafer Beetle with the brown colored Chafer Beetle. Interesting!

After checking many trees without finding any beetles, this small 5mm shiny beetle was a welcomed sight.

Coming to patch of low bushes, I was further surprised to find the place was full of the Cicindela aurulenta Tiger Beetle. This is the first time I get to see so many Tiger Beetles congregated in this manner. What was shown here was just a small part of the low bush, the other parts of the low bushes at this place were also full of the same type of Tiger Beetles.

Moving further into the path, a tiny (~2 mm) Fungus Beetle was found resting on a tree trunk.

The next tree were full of this lovely Darkling Beetle.

Moving into a 'wilder' part of the garden, I found this lovely first-time-encountered Fungus Weevil.

Just then the sky above turned reddish-orange, threatening to rain any moment. Rumbling thunders can be heard from a distance. Not wanting to waste the trip by leaving earlier, I continued down the path and found this first-time-encountered Fungus Weevil. It remained very still for me to get some close-up photograph of itself.

The thunders were getting louder and it sounded like it was about to rain. I picked up my pace and chanced upon an open patch of vegetation where this lovely first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris quadripustulata) was found. Interestingly it looked very much like a Fungus Beetle. This was the highlight of the trip.

Just when I am done with photographing the Lilioceris quadripustulata Leaf Beetle, the sky started to pour cats and dogs. I was completely drenched by the time I reached the exit.

Although the rain has unexpectedly shorten my trip, the trip was still fruitful as I was able to find three first-time-encountered beetles on this trip, especially so that I didn't expect to find interesting beetles in this neighborhood garden. I will surely come back to this place in the future.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Morning Walk At Venus Drive (12 Oct 2013)

The weather looked great for a walk and since I have not been to Venus Drive for many weeks, I decided to go there for some beetle actions.

To much of my disappointment, the spot where I usually find the different Leaf Beetles was badly disturbed and damaged. The tall bushes and plants where many of the Leaf Beetles were found were cut down and there were signs of human construction activities around the place.

Sadly, I was not able to find any of the resident Leaf Beetles at the place.

The first beetle that came into view was this interesting looking Fungus Weevil. This is a first-time-encountered beetle.

Moving on, the track some how looked different from what I remembered the place to be, it was very much brighter than the previous time I was there. I noticed that there were quite a number of trees were cut down. I am hoping that it is not due to the construction of an expressway that was rumoured to be happening soon.

Anyway, I decided to take a look at the place and found this lovely small (~5 mm) Net-winged Beetle (Dictyoptera aurora). It was very alert and I have to chase after it before it allowed me a minute to photograph it.

On a nearby fallen tree was this interesting looking beetle larvae. Wonder how the adult beetle looked like.

Near to the beetle larvae were these Fungus Beetles, busily munching on the newly grown bracket fungus.

On another fallen tree was this interesting looking beetle larvae.

A surprised find was this bright Ladybird Beetle (Illeis koebelei). It was busily running along the fallen log. Photographing this small beetle was really a challenge.

The weather suddenly changed and the sky became cloudy. Rumbling of thunders could be heard from a distance. Just as I was contemplating whether to end the trip before the rain, this small ~4 mm Fungus Weevil flew onto a leaf in front of me. This is another first-time-encountered Fungus Weevil Beetle.

The sky started to drizzle but it was not heavy enough to penetrate the thick tree foliage above. Just then I found this small 3 mm beetle slowly climbing up a plant. I often notice this little beetle in large number after the rain.

The drizzle stopped and I decided to stay and move on further. Coming to an open area where a few trees were cut down. Interestingly the place is overran by a large patch of air-potato plants. Just I was looking out for Leaf Beetle that can be found around air-potato plants, I spotted this pinkish Fungus Beetle at a distance. Knowing that this beetle was exceptionally alert I decided to zoom in to photograph it. Just when I was about to snap the shot, it flew off. I have included this badly taken shot to record what I have encountered during the trip.

The sky started to rumble again and the thunders sounded very much closer. Just then I found this big (~ 15 mm) Net-winged Beetle (Dictyoptera aurora) taking refuge under some leaves.

Moving quickly on, I found another beetle larvae on  a tree trunk.

The surrounding was becoming darker due to the imminent rain and just then I found this colorful Leaf Beetle (Callispa dimidiatipennis) moving quickly along a blade of palm leaf, perhaps looking for shelter from the impending rain.

Moving quickly on, I saw something at the corner of my eye and found this interesting Fungus Beetle. This is the first time that I encountered this beetle at Venus Drive. All my encounters with this beetle were at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Moving quickly forward so as not to be caught in the rain, I saw a metallic flash across the path and found this metallic green Tiger Beetle. On normal days this type of Tiger Beetle is highly alert to movements, but may be because of the impending rain it remain rather still for me to take some good shots of itself without flying away.

Nearing the end of the trail, I found this Spiny Leaf Beetle (Dicladispa armigera) on a blade of grass. Just then the siren for trekkers to leave the trails was sounded. The sound of the loud siren, together with the much louder thunders prompted me to end the trip.

Just before I reached the exit of the trail, I found this Darkling Beetle clinging on to a leaf. This was a surprise find as this it is a nocturnal beetle. This is the second time I came across this beetle in the day time.

Despite the wetness of the place, I am glad that I can still find interesting beetles and two first-time-encountered beetles.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Morning Walk At Sengkang Riverside Park (01 Oct 2013)

I am doing this week's blog early instead of the usual weekend as I am going on an overseas trip this week.

I just bought a Tamron AF70-300 mm telephoto cum macro lens yesterday and was itching to test it out.

To kill two birds with one stone, I decided to go to Sengkang Riverside Park to test out the new lens. This is the first time I visit the place for photographing beetles and was not certain if it will be a wasted trip.  The weather was exceptionally warm and the trees at the park are not particularly big and hence there are not much shades.

The first beetle that greeted me was this 4 mm Leaf Beetle. It took me a while to get use to the telephoto zoom and macro function.

While I was still fiddling with the new lens, this Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna cucurbitae) came into view. The initial thought was to simply make use of the built-in macro function but I was still not use to taking macro from a further distance, hence I resorted to using the Raynox DCR250 lens with the Tamron lens.

[Afternote 14012014 - I have wrongly identify this Ladybird Beetle, it should be Epilachna admirabilis. ]

The weather was extremely hot and there were hardly any shades at the park. I was getting over heated and decided to take a break at a nearby shelter. While at the shelter, I found a first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle also taking a break from the hot sun.

Near to the Leaf Beetle was another Leaf Beetle (Aulacophora indica) having a great time munching on a leaf. There were a number of this beetle in the same place, possibly all of them were taking shelter from the hot sun.

After walking for a long while without spotting any beetles, this Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna cucurbitae) was a welcome sight.

The weather was overly hot for me to bear and I decided to cut short my trip and turn back. Just before I reach the exit of the park, this 8 mm Weevil Beetle flew right into my path. This is another first-time-encountered beetle.

Along the path there were many of this Leaf Beetle (Aulacophora indica).

Although this was a short trip, it was considered fruitful given the fact that I managed to get a good feel of the new Tamron lens and to find two first-time-encountered beetles. The place looked promising as besides the above beetles I also came across a Rodolia sp. Ladybird Beetle and a Tortoise Beetle (no photograph taken as they were hyper-sensitive and flew off before I can get a good shot of them).