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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Morning Walk At Venus Drive (27 Dec 2014)

It rained day and night a day before and so I decided to go to Venus Drive early in the morning for my macro-photography session. The sky was cloudy and looked like it may rain again. The vegetation at the place were drenched to the bone and the ground was wet and muddy. Nevertheless, I decided to proceed with the walk.

The highlight of the trip was the encounter with this lovely and rare Banded Flower Mantis (Theopropus elegans). This is the first time that I ever seen such lovely mantis in Singapore. Majority of the mantis that I came across were either brown, green or mottled-brown, so much duller as compared to this particular specimen.

The first beetle for the trip was the familiar Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea) found under an elephant ear plant.

On the same leaf were several of this brightly colored Ladybird Beetle (Chilocorus circumdatus).

Moving to a grassy patch where I would usually find Leaf Beetles, I am glad to be able to find two different types of Leaf Beetle, namely Lema rufotestacea and Lema diversa.

Near to the grassy patch is an area of low trees, and on a leaf of a low tree was this tiny 2 mm Ladybird Beetle (Cryptogonus orbiculus).

On a nearby low tree was this tiny 2 mm first-time-encountered Ladybird Beetle. This specimen is unique as it is completely black.

There was a small tree trunk across the path and I was surprised to find a lone Fungus Beetle on the log.

After a good 10 minutes of walking without seeing any beetle, this mating pair of Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis) was a welcomed sight.

Coming to a wood pile, I was glad to be able to find a number of this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis). This particular specimen was found a leave nearby to the wood pile.

Under one of the log in the wood pile was another Fungus Beetle (Episcapha quadrimacula).

Interestingly, this pair of mating Darkling Beetle was the only pair of this type of beetle encountered during this trip.

On a small fern next to the wood pile was a 4mm Leaf Beetle. This specimen has lost one of its antennae.

Recently the number of wood piles have increased in Venus Drive and this created a wonderful habitat for beetles and other critters. With the wood piles come fungus mushrooms and with them, come the different types of Fungus Beetles. Here are some of the Fungus Beetles that I found on these wood piles and their surrounding vegetation.

Among the different Fungus Beetles encountered during the trip, there was a first-time-encountered Fungus Beetle which is entirely black without any markings.

Resting on a leave next to a wood pile was this orange-brown Fungus Beetle.

Another small 4 mm Fungus Beetle was also resting at the edge of leaf nearby.

I finally reached the spot where the long antennae Fungus Weevil was first found. I am glad to still be able to find this long antennae Fungus Weevil moving actively on one of the tree branches.

Flying around on the tree trunk was another Fungus Beetle. This is a large specimen at about 20 mm.

On the side of the tree trunk was another Fungus Weevil, but much smaller at 5 mm in size.

The sky started to drizzle and so I picked up my paces a little. Just as I passed by some low bushes, I saw a flash of white that flew under a leaf. I guessed that it is a particular Leaf Beetle and true enough it was the Leaf Beetle that I was expecting. I have yet to be able to identify the name of this lovely beetle.

Another highlight of the trip was this first-time-encountered Dung Beetle. It was resting on a leaf at the top part of a low tree. I was only able to get this shot of the beetle due to the bad angle and it flew off after the shot.

The trail led to a open area with a large patch of low bushes and lalang grass (Imperata cylindrica). I was happy to be able to find this Spiny Leaf Beetle (Dicladispa armigera) on one blade of the lalang grass.

As I rushed through the trail, I was stopped by the sight of a red dot on a green leaf. The red dot turned out to be a Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus pardalis). I always like to photograph this beetle due to its brilliant red coloration.

Moving further down the trail, I was surprised to find this  Fungus Beetle resting motionlessly on a leaf. This was the beetle that I came across many months back but I was not able to have a good photograph of it then.

Coming to the base of very a large tree, I found several of this bright orange beetles.

Near to the orange beetle was a tiny 2 mm Bark Beetle.

Further down the trail was a Darkling Beetle (Platydema sp.).

On a tree trunk near to the exit was several of this tiny 2 mm beetle.

The last beetle for the trip was my favorite white Ladybird beetle.

Venus Drive never fail to surprise me with more first-time-encountered beetles and also others interesting critters, even after a heavy rain storm. Hopefully with the ending of the monsoon season, I will be able to find more interesting beetles at the different part of Singapore.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Night Walk At Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (19 Dec 2014)

I was around the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve area and decided to take a walk around the parameter of the place since it no longer open for visit by the public. The place was drenching wet with occasional "showers" coming down from above when the wind blew past. An interesting encounter at the place was this large 10 cm flat worm.

The first beetle that I found was a Darkling Beetle (Ceropria induta). This came only after a while of walking, possibly due to the wet weather.

I came to a patch of low plants and found a number of this Leaf Beetle.

Coming to a fallen tree, I found this 5 mm roundish beetle moving quickly on the trunk, trying to hide from my flash light. Not sure if this is a Darkling Beetle or a Fungus Beetle.

There is a patch of ginger plant along the road side and on the ginger plants were several of this Leaf Beetle (Lema quadripunctata).

Only after walking for a long while that I found a fallen tree with several of this small 4 mm Ground Beetle (Pericalus tetrastigma).

On the same tree trunk was this tiny 1 mm beetle. Not sure what type of beetle it is but it looked like a Fungus Beetle though.

A surprise find was this tiny 2 mm first-time-encountered Rove Beetle that was moving near to the above beetle.

On a tree further down was a pair of mating beetles. Not sure if it is Fungus Beetle or Darkling Beetle.

On the same tree was a 5 mm first-time-encountered Weevil Beetle.

A few trees away was this tiny 2 mm beetle,. It looked similar to the earlier beetle but differs in the pattern at the rear of its elytra.

It was almost at the end of my walk when I came across a fallen log with many white fungus growing on it. On the white fungus were several of this Pleasing Fungus Beetle.

After encountering with the Pleasing Fungus Beetle, it was another 10 minutes of walking without seeing another beetle. I was glad to be able to find this Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) on the tip of a grass.

The last beetle was a Long Horned Beetle (Aeolesthes holosericeus) and it was a surprise find as it was found on a half eaten plant among a patch of tall grass.

The trip can be considered to be fruitful as the result could be worse given that it was immediately after a heavy rain.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Morning Walk At Upper Pierce Reservoir (18 Dec 2014)

I was deciding among several places for my morning macro-photographing trip and finally decided to go Upper Pierce Reservoir. The last trip to the place was pretty interesting even though it was a short trip (Picnic At Upper Pierce Reservoir (22 Oct 2014). My intention for the trip was to check out the long road leading to the Upper Pierce Reservoir car park.

Unsurprisingly, the first beetle that I encountered was a Leaf Beetle (Hoplasoma unicolor) as the place was full of this type of beetle when I last visited the place. Unlike previous Hoplasoma unicolor Leaf Beetle that I have encountered, this particular specimen remained absolutely still for me to photograph.

After a good ten minutes of walking around without finding any other beetles, I  contemplated whether to change to another location such as Venus Drive. Just then this beautiful first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle appeared right in front of me. I came across this lovely beetle on the internet before but doubted if it was found in Singapore. Because of this lovely beetle, I decided to stick to my original plan and continued with my walk along the long road.

After walking for a while without finding another beetle, this small 3 mm Jewel Beetle (probably Trachys sp.) was a welcomed find. This particular specimen was so alert that it promptly flew off after 2 photographs.

Near to the Jewel Beetle was a Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis) found on a fish tail palm (Caryota mitis).

Coming to a patch of Simpoh Air (Dillenia suffruticosa) plants, I was surprised to find several different 1 to 2 mm Ladybird Beetles.

The vegetation along the road seemed pretty barren and I didn't find any beetles until I came across a tree with a lone beetle larvae on it.

Just as I reached the end of the road, I finally found a first-time-encountered 1 mm Weevil Beetle on a Hairy Clidemia plant (Clidemia hirta).

Turning back and moving along the opposite side of the road, several of this Leaf Beetle (Colasposoma auripenne) were found hiding among the leaves of a low tree.

Coming to patch of Simpoh Air plants, I was surprised to see a few of my favorite white Ladybird Beetle flying among the Simpoh Air plants. This is a difficult beetle to photograph as it is very alert and would fly away upon the slightest of movements.

Walking along the road, I was delighted to find this 3 mm Fungus Beetle.

At about 150 meters from where I started, a Weevil Beetle was found resting under a leaf.

At about 50 meters from the starting point, I found several of this Tumbling Flower Beetle (Glipa malaccana) flying around a bird's nest fern.

Near to the Tumbling Flower Beetle was a Leaf Beetle (Aulacophora frontalis).

A stone's throw away, I was surprised to find another Leaf Beetle.

The highlight of the trip was the encounter of this small 3 mm Jewel Beetle. I have been looking out for this beetle as the photographs taken during the last encounter with this beetle was not so good.

The trip yielded two first-time-encountered beetles and also several not so commonly encountered beetles, but comparatively it is not as fruitful given the low number of beetles found versus the distance I have to travel to find them.