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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Short Afternoon Walk At Venus Drive (28 Dec 2013)

I had a little free time in the afternoon so I decided to take a short walk at the Venus Drive trail. Instead of the usual trail that I take, I decided to take the other trail called the Tree Top Walk. I don't normally take this path as it is a rather busy trail as it leads to the Tree Top hanging bridge which is quite popular with Singaporeans and tourists. The chances of finding any beetles along the track is lesser due to the heavy human traffic. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try again since it has been a long time I last walked the trail.


As expected, after having walked for 10-15 minutes I still didn't see any beetles until this tiny 2 mm beetle appeared on a leaf. In all honesty I was so tempted to turn back and go onto the usual trail that I know will surely have beetles even though it is in the afternoon or even after rain.


Moving on for a short while, I found a few of this Darkling Beetle on a moss laden tree.


After walking for another while before I come across a tree with 3 of this type of of beetle larvae.


By this time dark clouds started to gather above and it looked like it will start raining within minutes. Ever since the trip to Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West where I was drenched to the skin by a heavy downpour, I will always carry an umbrella with me in my camera bag. Since I have an umbrella I decided to continue and found this lovely metallic blue Leaf Beetle hanging on to a leaf that swayed violently in the strong wind.


The sky started to rain and I decide to turn back since the chances of finding beetles in the rain is almost zero. As I was walking back, I noticed a beetle was hiding under a leaf. Upon closer look I found this handsome 12 mm Net-winged Beetle (Taphes brevivollis), and so with one hand holding the umbrella and the other hand on the camera trigger, I managed to take a few nice macro of this lovely beetle. I must have looked really odd to all the people that passed by me since everyone is rushing to get out of the trail before the rain becomes even heavier.


While walking towards the exit, I was still looking out at the underside of all the plants that lined the trail. The efforts paid off when I found this 5 mm first-time-encountered Net-winged Beetle hiding under a leaf. It looked like a miniaturized version of the Taphes brevicollis Net-winged Beetle but upon closer examination  you can easily see the differences between the two (apart from the obvious size difference).


By now the rain was getting heavier and there were no signs that it would stop any time soon, so I picked up my paces towards the exit. Just as I was walking my sees caught sight of this beautiful Leaf Beetle (Astathes contentiosa) hiding from the rain under a leaf. This is the second time that I encountered this beetle. The last time I saw this beetle was during a failed trip at Pulau Ubin (a small island belonged to Singapore) where I got more mosquito bites than beetle photographs. In fact, I only managed to photograph 4 or 5 different beetles through out the entire day on the island. Anyway, I only noticed that the Leaf Beetle was actually feeding on some milky white liquid (possibly plant sap) when I was processing the photographs at home.


I was not expecting much from the trip as the trail is not known to have many beetle encounters, and coupled with the fact that it was in the afternoon made the chance of encountering beetles even slimmer, not mentioning the heavy rain. Despite all these,  I am happy that I was able to photograph a first-time-encountered Net-winged Beetle and to encounter the Astathes contentiosa Leaf Beetle for the second time.