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Friday, 22 November 2013

Night Walk At BTNR - Durian Loop Trail (22 Nov 2013)

The weather was rather wet for the day but I thought I would still go to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve - Durian Trail for a walk since I have not been there for a while.

I was surprised to find quite a number of people there. It was interesting to find them all wearing rubber boots and later I found out that they were there to pick durians. Didn't know that it is durian season now and the Durian Loop Trail is full of fruiting durian trees.

For those who do not know, durian is one of the favorite fruit for Singaporeans and although they are easily available at the fruits store and even supermarket, local durians are highly sought after by many as they are usually not available for sale.

One would know that local durian is in season when you find rotting or half eaten durians scattered around durian trees. The smell or fragrance, depending if you are a lover of durian or not, was in the air. I saw groups of people gathered around certain spots with candle lit and placed at strategic locations along the trail. In my mind I am thinking to myself that this is going to be one of those not so fruitful days, given all the human activities around.

The first beetle that greeted me was this Leaf Beetle (Lema diversa) probably preparing to rest.

The place was exceptionally wet and muddy, probably due to all the walking over of the already wet path by the durian pickers.  As expected, I walked for almost 15 minutes without finding any beetles. Just then, I noticed a black small beetle (~8 mm) on a low bush. Upon closer examination, I was surprised to find this interesting Fungus Beetle (Amphisternus vomeratus). This was only the second time that I encountered this beetle. It was rather restless and kept moving around, making it a challenge to get a nice shot of it.

Walking along the muddy path was difficult but the humidity at the place really make the walk a bit tough. Nevertheless, I persevered on and came across an upright dead tree with a few tens of this small 2 mm Fungus Beetle.

Moving on, I walked almost for another 20 minutes before I found this first-time-encountered Ground Beetle. It remained motionless for me to photograph unlike the earlier Fungus Beetle.

Coming to a fallen log, I found a few of this small 3 mm Darkling Beetles.

Moving further down the muddy trail, more Darkling Beetles were found. This Ceropria induta Darkling Beetle was found clinging to the base of a tall tree.

On  the same tree was this long (~20 mm) beetle larvae. This is likely to the larvae of the Ceropria induta Darkling Beetle.

On a tree covered with lichens, a lone beetle larvae was found with no adult beetles in sight.

After another 10 minutes of walking without seeing any beetle, this roundish (~6 mm) Darkling Beetle was a welcomed sight. This is also where I found my first durian from this place.

On a slope next to the trail, a Fungus Beetle (Micrencaustes lunulata) was found motionless on a blade of leaf.

After another long walk without encountering any beetles, I have decided to speed up and go home. Just then this small 4 mm Darkling Beetle appeared.

This Long Horned Beetle was the highlight of the trip. It was found almost on the underside of a fallen tree which made photographing it a challenge. Unlike the other earlier beetles, this beetle was hyper-sensitive and flew off into the dark after a few shots.

This trip was not very fruitful for beetles but I still managed to find a first-time-encountered beetle and other interesting beetles. Although the beetle photographing was not fruitful, my unintentional durian picking along the way when I was photographing the beetles gave not too bad results - 3 medium sized durians. Tasty too I must add. :)