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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Night Walk At Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West (07 Mar 2014)

It was reported that the month of Feburary was the driest Feburary since 1869 and the weather continued to be dry and windy. I wanted to find out the impact of the dry weather on the beetle populaions, so I decided to take a walk at the Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West.

The place was bone dry and at some places the amount of dead leaves on the ground was ankle deep and at some remote locations, the leaves litter was almost knee deep. The dead leaves crackle with each step that I took.  In my heart I am expecting the worse for this place in terms of finding beetles.

After a while of walking before I found this lone Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) on the dry leave on the ground.


A stone's throw away from the Chafer Beetle was an unexpected find - a Long Horned Beetle (Coptops annulipes). This is the first time I come across this type of Long Horned Beetle at this place.


Upon encountering the Long Horned Beetle, my hope of finding more beetles was raised, but it was short lived as it was only about 20 minutes later that I found this 1 mm Fungus Beetle.


Walking further for about 5 minutes before I found these two Darkling Beetles near to each other, with the first one at about 6 mm and the latter 4 mm.



Moving along I scanned every tree for beetles. The bark of most of the trees were dry and without life, with only the occasional one or two of this 2 mm Fungus Beetles.


The next beetle that came along after a long while was a first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle. Its roundish shape differentiate it from the Darkling Beetles that I encountered before.


The surprise find for the night was this Checkered Beetle. This is the first time that I encountered this type of beetle in a town garden.


On my previous trips to this place I found a location where there is a large colony of the Cicindela aurulenta Tiger Beetle. Without much hesitation I make a bee-line to the place, but to my great disappointment the dry weather has possibly destroyed the Tiger Beetle colony as I only find a single Tiger Beetle (Cicndela aurulenta) at the location.


After walking for a long while without finding any other beetles, I decided to turn back and head for the exit. Along the way to the exit, I found a Chafer Beetle (Phyllophaga marginalis) happily feeding on  a leaf.


The last beetle before I left the place was a commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus). This beetle and the Apogonia expeditionis Chafer Beetle can usually be found in large numbers, but sadly this was the only Adoretus compressus Chafer Beetle that I found for this trip.


The result of the trip was not unexpected given the dry weather. I am fortunate to be able to find 11 beetles as it could have been worse like the trip to Punggol Road.