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Friday, 31 January 2014

Afternoon Walk At Venus Drive (30 Jan 2014)

It was the eve of the Chinese New Year and the weather was nice and dry, so I decided to drop by the Venus Drive for a short walk before all the busyness of the Chinese New Year visitations. I just DIY a soft box for the flash and was itching to give it a try. The monsoon was far behind us as evident from the dry ground which is usually muddy especially during the monsoon season.


There was another reason that I was at Venus Drive - Leaf Rolling Weevil. I have been wanting to photograph Leaf Rolling Weevil for a while but was not fortunate to come across any for the longest time. I recently came across a low tree that has leaves being rolled up and I am hoping that it is where I can finally find the Leaf Rolling Weevil.


Sadly after circling the tree several times I was not able to find any Leaf Rolling Weevil, instead I found this Net-winged Beetle resting from the hot afternoon sun under a leaf. Guessed that I am wrong, so back to the search again.


The trail was rather cool despite the hot afternoon sun and a Tumbling Flower Beetle was found resting on a leaf.


The next beetle that came along was a Leaf Beetle (Graphops curtipennis). Several of this type of beetle were seen on the same plant, all resting motionlessly on the plant.


Moving to a fallen log, my attention was drawn to some movements among the a pile of saw dust. It was an odd looking first-time-encountered beetle. It reminded my of Rudolf, the red nose reindeer. :)


Moving to another fallen log where there is a large brown fungus growing on it, I found a first-time-encountered Fungus Weevil  resting on it. It was so sensitive that I was only able to take one photograph it and it flew off.


Hiding under another log was a Handsome Fungus Beetle.


Looking for beetles in the afternoon is so much different from that in the morning or in the night. In the afternoon most of the beetles were found hiding under shade. Here was a commonly encountered beetle under branch, away from the hot sun.


While looking among a large patch of air potato plants, a Long Horned Beetle (Sclethrus amoenus) landed right in front of me.


Moving to a rotten tree stump, a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus) was seen clinging to the shaded side. It is interesting to still find Fungus Beetles in the day since they are nocturnal.


On a near by tree was a beetle larvae.


The highlight of the trip was this first-time-encountered Fungus Beetle, found on the shaded side of a tree. I initially thought that it is another of the commonly seen Fungus Beetle and I almost gave it a miss. As I was testing out my DIY soft box, I decided to take some photographs of it. To my pleasant surprise I saw two hooks at the back of its elytra and it turned out to be a first-time-encountered Fungus Beetle. Ever since I saw a photograph of this beetle on the internet, I have been looking for this beetle for a while and I am so glad that I finally found it.


Moving on I came to a pile of chopped down tree branches and on it I found a first-time-encountered Fungus Weevil.


Next beetle was a small 3 mm Leaf Beetle resting on a leaf under the shade of a tree.


On what remained of what I previously called the Snow Tree, several types of Fungus Beetle were found. The Snow Tree was previously about 5 meter talk but was cut down to 1.5 meter due to its rotting core.


This interestingly patterned Fungus Beetle was a first-time-encountered beetle. It is about 4 mm in size.


Two other first-time-encountered Fungus Beetle were found close to each other.



The next beetle was a surprise find - a first-time-encountered Long Horned Beetle (Chloridolum thomsoni) was resting on a leaf under a thick foliage. This is a lovely colored beetle with distinct colored stripes on its elytra but its beauty was lost to my poor photography.


Not too far from the exit of the trail, a Net-winged Beetle was found resting on a leaf.


At almost the end of the trail, I found this first-time-encountered this first-time-encountered Fungus Weevil at the base of a tall tree. The beetle was very confident of its camouflage as it did not move a single bit despite all the camera flashes.


The last beetle of the trip was a Ground Beetle (Pericalus tetrastigma). This particular one was very active despite the hot sun above.


This trip was surprisingly fruitful with a total of 9 first-time-encountered beetles. My only regret was that the photographs taken were not sharp, possibly due to the settings that I used. Nevertheless, this trip was wonderful and I am glad that I have made the right decision to come to Venus Drive.