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Friday, 6 December 2013

Night Walk At MacRitchie Reservoir (06 Dec 2013)

As usual it rained cats and dogs in the afternoon and I thought that I would not be able to go for my night photography session. Fortunately the sky cleared in the late afternoon and so I decided to go to the MacRitchie Reservoir for a walk.

When I reached the place, I was rather disappointed as the place was very wet. My expectation of finding beetles was immediately lowered as it seemed like the rain just ended not long at the place. The first beetle that greeted me was this brown Chafer Beetle. I initially thought it is a Maladera castanea Chafer Beetle but upon closer look at the photograph at home, it seemed to be a different type of Chafer Beetle.

Near by to the brown Chafer Beetle was a brownish color Chafer Beetle. It was at a rather odd part of a tree branch and hence I was not able to get a very good shot of it.

On a near by Hairy Clidemia (Clidemia hirta) were dozens of this commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus).

Moving on towards a patch of Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum), several of this Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis) were happily feasting on the leaves. The Singapore Rhododendron seemed to be the food plant for this type of beetle.

Moving further down the trail, I was pleasantly surprised to find this Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) resting on a low bush.

Just as I was wondering whether I would encountered the commonly encountered Apogonia expeditionis Chafer Beetle, this lone beetle appeared on a Singapore Rhododendron leaf.

The highlight of the trip was the encounter with this Flower Chafer Beetle (Taeniodera monacha). This is only the third time I encountered this beetle, and it is the first time I found it in the night. The encounter was so timely as it was only a few days ago that I managed to find its name while combing through some old online archives.

After walking for more than 10-15 minutes without finding any beetles, this Darkling Beetle was a welcomed sight despite the fact that it is a very common beetle found in the night.

Moving on for another while before I caught sight of this lovely 5 mm Leaf Beetle. Notice the water droplets on the beetle? This showed how wet the place was.

Walking on for another short while without finding any beetle, the encounter with this tiny 1 mm first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle felt like a bonus.

Coming to a dead log, I was surprised to find this Fungus Beetle on it. Why I am surprised is because of my past experience of not finding any Fungus Beetle on the dead logs at MacRitchie Reservoir, unlike Venus Drive where the dead logs are the place to be if you want to find beetles in the night.

May be the place wanted to proof me wrong, while photographing the above Fungus Beetle, I caught sight of a Handsome Fungus Beetle (Micrencaustes lunulata) just about 30 cm away.

Interestingly, another Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus tetraspilotus) was less than 10 cm away from the Handsome Fungus Beetle. Guessed that I am wrong about the dead logs in this place.

At the far end of the same log were some bracket fungus and on it was a dozen or so of this small 3 mm Rove Beetle (Sepedophilus bisignatus). To be able to photograph this beetle takes a lot of patience as they are highly sensitive to light and are very fast moving. I only managed to take a few shots of them before all of them disappeared into the underside of the fungus. This is one of the toughest beetles that I ever photographed. In fact, I would not even bother to photograph them if it was not because of the relatively low beetle encounters during this trip.

Moving on for another 10 minutes without seeing another beetles, I was so glad to find this small 4 mm beetle on a dead log. One would easily miss this beetle as it is well camouflaged against the dark coloration of a dead log, especially if the log is wet.

After walking for a while without encountering any more beetles, I decided to turn back and go home. On my way back, I found this 3 mm Leaf Beetle munching on a new leaf.

Just when I was about to reach the exit of the trail, the place gave me a surprise ~ a first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle. I initially thought that it is the Aulacophora indica Leaf Beetle which can be found in large number at Lor Halus (, but as I focus closer I noticed that this beetle is different as it has a dark coloration on the tibia of its legs.

The trip was more fruitful than expected with the spotting of 17 different beetles, with some pleasant surprise added. Guessed that this is still a good trip given that we are now in the midst of the monsoon season and according to the weatherman, this is the one of the wettest December ever in Singapore.

Hopefully the weather holds up and I can have more beetle photography trips to share.