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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Night Walk At Venus Drive (21 Feb 2014)

My friend and I decided to go to Venus Drive for night shoot as the chances of finding beetles and other critters are much higher compared to the other places, especially since the weather has been very dry for the past few weeks.

The first beetle that came into view was a Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis).


On the same tree was a Fungus Weevil and it was a surprise find as you would usually find this type of beetle on rotting logs and not on a leaf. I wondered if this has to do with the exceptionally dry weather.


Moving on, I found another Chafer Beetle (Apogonia aequabilis) clinging on to a blade of grass. It was a bit of a challenge to photograph this beetle as the wind was blowing rather strongly then.


Near to the Chafer Beetle was this Leaf Beetle that I totally missed until my friend spotted it. It blended very well into the leaves that it was resting on.


We reached the spot where we would usually find dozens of Fungus Beetles and Rove Beetles, but for this trip none was found except for this shiny Darkling Beetle. Noticed that the place is so dry that even the large bracket fungus that this beetle was on was showing crack lines. I was crossing my finger that this will not be the same for the rest of the trip.


Moving to a tree, I was glad to find this shiny beetle hiding at the base of a tree, still having some green mosses growing on it.


On another tree was this tiny 1 mm Fungus Beetle foraging among the dead mosses. Hope the dry weather don't kill off all these lovely beetles.


On the same tree was a first-time-encountered Fungus Beetle. I also missed it since it looked the same as the above beetle through the naked eyes. Only when I zoomed in that I realized that it is a different type of Fungus Beetle.


All the fallen logs that were usually moist were all bone dry. All the Fungus Beetles that we would usually encounter on these fallen logs were no where to be found. Only after some searching that I managed to find this commonly encountered Fungus Beetle.


Moving deeper into the foliage or what remain of them, I was glad to find a colony of this black color Darkling Beetles. Hope they survive the dry weather as the log that they were on is also slowly drying and the fungus mushrooms that they eat were no where to be found. Guessed that it is not the dry weather that is making the Fungus Beetles scarce but rather it is the lack of fungus mushrooms that is making them so scarce.


On a tree trunk, I found these beetles in a small depression on the tree bark. The larger beetle is a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus) and the smaller one looked like a Darkling Beetle.


On another dried up log was this big 20 mm Fungus Weevil (Stiboderes impressus) which popped up from no where, as if it wanted to be photographed.


On the same log were a number of this small 4 mm Ground Beetles (Pericalus tetrastigma).


On another part of this log was this well camouflaged Long Horned Beetle (Coptops annulipes).


Hiding on the underside a dried up fallen log was this Ground Beetle (Coptodera marginata) and a really tiny first-time-encountered Click Beetle. Owing to the awkward position of the beetles, I was not able to get a good shot of the Click Beetle.


On another log was this Darkling Beetle (Cryphaeus gazelle). It has been a while that I encounter this beetle and it was definitely a welcome sight, especially in such dry condition.


Staying motionless nearby on the same log was this Weevil Beetle, which blended perfectly into the background with its texture and color. This is another first-time-encountered beetle.


After some searching, we finally came across this Handsome Fungus Beetle resting on a dry log. Sadly this is the only Handsome Fungus Beetle that we encountered for this trip.


Another well camouflaged beetle resting on a tree log.


More Ground Beetles were found and this one is the Catascopus dalbertisi, which is one of the very first Ground Beetle I encountered when I started photographing Singapore beetles. Thanks to the twin flash that I am using, the metallic color of this Ground Beetle can be seen clearly.


The time was running short and we decided to pick up the pace and look for the "snow tree". I am curious what other beetles would be found on it since the last afternoon trip I managed to find some interesting looking beetles.

On the way to the "snow tree", we came across a tree stump and found the highlight of the trip - a Bess Beetle (Aceraius grandis). This is one of larger beetles that one can find in Singapore. It is about 35 - 40 mm in size.


We finally came to the "snow tree" after some walking and resisting the temptation of stopping along the way. The first beetle that caught my eyes was this lovely patterned FungusWeevil.


At the base of the "snow tree" was a large patch of black fungus which still seemed to be alive. This has attracted many Rove Beetles to it. The best part is that I found many of the Rove Beetle were resting on the fungus patch, possibly feeding of the fungus. I was so glad that I can have opportunity to photograph them as they were almost impossible to photograph as they were running very quickly in other occasions.


Attracted to the black fungus patch was another Fungus Beetle.


On the same "snow tree" was this tiny 1 mm beetle. This possibly is a Fungus Beetle.


On another part of the tree was this Fungus Beetle. So glad to see this as the sighting of them has became a rare thing during this dry weather.


A lone Fungus Beetle was resting motionlessly on the tree trunk.


The surprise encounter of the trip was this beautifully colored first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle.


It was about time to turn back and on the way towards the exit, I found this big-bum Chafer Beetle (Phyllophaga marginalis).


An unintentional find was this first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle. We were photographing a caterpillar when we chanced upon this Leaf Beetle. It is so amazing to be find different Leaf Beetle each time we visit Venus Drive. Guessed that this is also one of the reasons why I kept coming back to this place.


The last beetle for the trip was this big Ground Beetle (Onypterygia longispinis). At a quick glance it really looked like a cockroach.


The trip was surprisingly fruitful despite the dry weather. I am glad that we have chosen this place for the night.