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Friday, 28 March 2014

Night Walk At Admiralty Park (28 Mar 2014)

It has been a while since I visited the Admiralty Park so I decided to give that place a try again. One of the reasons why I didn't visit the place for a while was mainly due to the ants infestation at the place. The place is literally crawling with countless dark brown colored ants that do not hesitate climbing onto you and sink their little mandibles into you. This type of ants is commonly found in our parks and gardens, but for some reasons Admiralty Park seemed to have a lot more of them.

I am particularly irritated by them crawling into my socks and bite me from the inside of the socks. At times, they would crawl up your legs and randomly bite you under the pants. Although the bites were not particularly painful, the number of bites when the ants "attack" would often send me running off and stomping the ground hard in an attempt to shake them off. This is something that you would not want when you are doing macro photography.

Here's a photograph of the tiny brown ant.

Just like last week, it rained just before I reached Admiralty Park and with it also went my hope of finding beetles. Only after searching for a good 10 minutes that I managed to find this Darkling Beetle resting on a tree trunk. Noticed the wet tree bark that the beetle was on.

Next to the Darkling Beetle was a commonly encountered 2 mm Fungus Beetle.

On the other side of the tree trunk was this metallic bluish-purple beetle.

On a plant near by was a Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis). Little did I know at this point that this type of beetle was out in force for the night. In fact, I came across easily a hundred if not two of them for the entire trip. you literally see them everywhere.

Moving further into the trail, I was so glad to find another type of Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus), especially so when all you see were the Apognia expeditionis Chafer Beetle.

After walking for a while before I came across this Chafer Beetle (Apogonia aequabilis). This was the only specimen that I came across for this trip.

The rain that came earlier has driven most of the beetle into hiding and finding this lone Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) resting on a wet leaf brought some excitement to the trip.

Not sure what is happening at Admiralty Park as most of the trees' trunk were wrapped up with gunnysack. Because of the gunnysacks that were around the tree trunks, I was not able to find any beetles on it except for this Darkling Beetle. It must be the Columbus of its kind to be found on this whole new alien world as I didn't find a single beetle, except this one, on any of the trees that have gunnysack wrapping on them.

The last beetle that I found was also the highlight of the trip. It was a Fungus Beetle (Encymon scintillans). This is only the second time that I came across it at Admiralty Park.

The trip was almost a washout due to the rain. I am still glad that I have made the trip as I am able to find the Fungus Beetle (Encymon scintillans). This is only the second time that I came across this type of beetle.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Morning Walk At Venus Drive (22 Mar 2014)

After the night before at Venus Drive, I am curious to see if Venus Drive is as fruitful in the morning as in the night and so I headed to Venus Drive after my morning errands. The place is still very much wet from the rain the night before but the air was refreshing, especially compared to the weeks of dry and dusty weather.

It was so good to see new fungus mushrooms  growing on the tree trunks.

The first beetle that greeted me was a Ladybird Beetle (Epilachna indica).

Sadly I was not able to find any Leaf Beetles at the usual spots where they can be found before the dry weather started. The next beetle that I encountered was a small 2 mm Fungus Beetle that was near the white fungus mushroom that I photographed.

A surprised find was this first-time-encountered Fungus Beetle (Ohtaius lunulatus) found hiding by the side of a log.

Moving to another fallen log, a Net-winged Beetle (Dictyoptera aurora) was disturbed by my movement and flew to a nearby plant. Fortunately I was able to use the zoom-lens to get a photograph of it.

Between the Net-winged Beetle and the clearing, I was not able to spot any beetles. It was only when I reached the clearing that I started to find beetles. On many of the fallen logs at the clearing, were many of this type of Fungus Beetle.

On a wet leaf I found a 3 mm black colored beetle caught in a drop of water. It was trying very hard to free itself from the surface tension of the water droplet but to no avail. Seeing its struggle, I moved it to a log nearby. The small beetle turned out to be a Hister Beetle (Hister smyrnacus).

The highlight of the trip was the encounter with this large Jewel Beetle. I am so glad to have encountered it again. Notice the green and red coloration? This is one of the reasons why Jewel Beetles are in great demand as display or even jewel ornaments. As mentioned before, this is the largest type of jewel beetles that I ever come across. I spent a good 20 minutes with this beetle since I do not know if I would ever find this type of beetle again.

The beetle was a Tumbling Flower Beetle (Glipa malaccana). This is a commonly encountered beetle in this place but one may not have noticed it as it is an active flyer and could easily be mistaken as a fly.

Moving deeper into the clearing, I found this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus) was enjoying a sip from the rain drops.

After some searching, I finally found a Leaf Beetle hiding under some shade.

Just a short distance from the clearing, I found this  beetle larvae, Sadly this is the only beetle larvae I came across during this trip.

There was another reason why I wanted to visit Venus Drive - to find and photograph the white color Ladybird Beetle that I came across during one of the trips to this place. This type of beetle was exceptionally skittish, possibly due to its white coloration that makes it stand out like a sore thumb. It was so hard to photograph this beetle as this beetle would simply fly away upon some movements around.

Hiding under some heavy shade was this Fungus Beetle. I always thought it looked like a delicious sweet.

No other beetles were encountered en-route to the "Snow Tree". The first beetle found on the "Snow Tree" was this Fungus Weevil.

The black fungus on the "Snow Tree" seemed odd as compared to during the dry spell, it looked like it is dead or dying. On it was another Fungus Weevil.

Moving on I found this Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus paradalis) on some palm leaves. This is one of my favorite beetles.

A stone's throw away was this Leaf Beetle. This particular Leaf Beetle was a little hyper active and kept moving about on the leaf. This is not normal as most of the time, this type of beetle would usually remain motionless instead of moving around.

Just after moving a few meters away, I found another Leaf Beetle (Gonophora xanthomela) on a ginger plant.

It was about time to turn back and go home. Just slightly after the exit, a Tumbling Flower Beetle was found resting in the shade.

The trip was fruitful with several surprised encounters and a first-time-encountered beetle. I am glad to be able to photograph the Jewel Beetle and the White Ladybird Beetle.

Night Walk At Venus Drive (21 Mar 2014)

Just after I posted my last week's blog, the sky started to rain and it continued to rain through out the entire week, thus ending one of the driest  months in Singapore's history. I am so glad that the rain came, in fact most people in Singapore welcomed the relief that the rain brought. I am definitely sure that our nature and all its critters in it welcomed this long awaited rain.

I was looking forward to see the effects of the rain on Venus Drive and so Venus Drive it was. When I reached Venus Drive I thought my hope of finding beetles there was dashed as the place was very wet, apparently it was just after a heavy rain storm. Although the chances of finding beetles after the rain is rather slim, I am still happy as I saw signs of the place recovering from the long dry spell - fungus of all type began to appear all over the place. I am particularly happy to see new bracket fungus growing on the moist fallen logs.

 With little expectation I started my walk. The first beetle that greeted me was a Chafter Beetle (Apogonia aequabilis) and it was having a drink from a rain drop on a leaf.

Just a few steps from the Apogonia aequabilis Chafer Beetle, was another Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis).

Yet another few steps away was this Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus).

The gladness of finding beetles so quickly was soon replaced with concerns that the rain has drove the beetles into hiding. It was almost 15 minutes later before I came across this Darkling Beetle next to the clearing.

On a nearby fallen log was this 4 mm Fungus Beetle. This beetle was sensitive that it only allowed me one photograph and went under the log to hide.

On a nearby log was a first-time-encountered beetle. It looked the same like a previously encountered beetle but differs in its smooth elytra.

Moving to another fallen log, I was so glad to once again see a large group of this Fungus Beetle which seemed to have disappeared totally during the dry spell.

On the same log was this Darkling Beetle (Cryphaeus gazelle). This is a female beetle as it lacks the prominent horns of the male beetle.

The next beetle was a surprise find as I have not come across it for a long while. It is a Fungus Beetle.

The rain has brought out one of my favorite Ground Beetle (Catascopus dalbertisi). I always like the color of this lovely beetle.

On another tree log in the clearing, a large 20 mm Darkling Beetle (Promethis valga) was seen resting on the side of the log. It dwarfed a Fungus Weevil which was next to it.

Moving to another log, I was glad to find the yellow spotted Fungus Beetle which also seemed to have disappeared during the dry weather. In fact I still have not seen the commonly encountered Eumorphus politus Fungus Beetle. Hoped they survived the dry weather.

On another log were about 10 of this small 4 mm beetle.

On the same log were a number of this Fungus Weevil. This is a commonly encountered Fungus Weevil but to date I was still not able to find its name.

On a vine next to the log was this Handsome Fungus Beetle. It felt so good to know this lovely beetle survived the dry weather.

On a near by log were several of this small (~ 3 mm) Ground Beetle (Pericalus tetrastigma).

While photographing the above Ground Beetle, I accidentally saw this 2 mm beetle near by.

Staying motionlessly on the side of another log was this lone Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis). It's been a while that I come across this type of beetle since the dry weather started.

Near to the Fungus Beetle was this curious looking beetle which I still don't know what type of beetle it is.

I was surprised to encounter this Hister Beetle. It looked like it is Platysoma leconti but I cannot be sure.

The sky started to thunder and it signaled that it was about time for me to leave. Just as I was making my way to the exit, this tiny 2 mm Fungus Weevil.

Just inches away from the Fungus Weevil was this 3 mm Fungus Beetle.

The trip was unexpectedly fruitful given that it rained just before I started the trip.