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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Night Walk At Venus Drive (04 Apr 2014)

The weather has been wet for the past few days with showers all over Singapore and it rained heavily in the early afternoon. I used to dread rainy weather as they often disrupt my macro photography sessions, but after having gone through the exceptionally dry February and March, I have learned to be appreciative of the rain that we often took for granted in Singapore. In fact, we are very blessed in Singapore as we are getting regular rain now as our neighbor country up North (West Malaysia) is still suffering from a lack of rain in some places.

I decided to go to Venus Drive for a walk to see if the place has recovered from the damages caused by the dry weather. To add some excitements to this trip, I decided to take a different route for the night. I usually do not take this route in the day as the human traffic on it was very high and my experience of finding beetles on this route was not very positive. Nevertheless, I took the route and encountered this interesting looking fungus that looked very much like soft corals under the sea. This is the first time that I encountered such curious looking fungus at this place. Interesting!

The first beetle that I encountered was a first-time-encountered Fungus Weevil that was so hyperactive that I was only able to take one photograph of it and it disappeared up the tree.

I was not too familiar with this route in the night and so I took a little bit more time to look around the place. Coming to a tree which has its tree branches almost touching the ground due to their weight, I was surprised to find this Leaf Beetle resting on one of the leaves. In fact, I found two of this Leaf Beetle at this location. Notice the bluish tint on the legs of this beetle?

The next beetle was a commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis).

The next beetle was just a stone's throw from the Chafer Beetle and it is a Ground Beetle. It is a bluish-black Ground Beetle which, if I recalled correctly this was only the second time I encountered this particular type of Ground Beetle. It is about 8 mm in size.

The next beetle was found on a pile of chopped down tree trunks which I thought I would find some Fungus Beetles, but sadly only a few of this 10 mm size Darkling Beetles were found on the trunks.

On a nearby tree trunk was this small beetle, probably a Fungus Beetle.

Moving further down the trail, a Fungus Weevil was found resting on the end of a chopped tree trunk.

The route was rather "barren" and I was not able to find any beetles for almost 15 min of walking, just as I have expected. I finally came to a tree with this tiny 1 mm Fungus Beetle on its trunk. They looked like tiny black specks to the naked eyes, until you zoom in and see the colorful patterns on the beetle. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy taking the time to look for such tiny "black" beetles as I like the surprise of seeing what color or patterns are on these tiny beetles.

The next beetle was a Darkling Beetle but with a brown coloration, very much different from the usual black color of Darkling Beetle.

Next to the Darkling Beetle was this first-time-encountered beetle. It is about 6 mm in size.

It was another 15 min or so of walking before I found this skittish Click Beetle (Xanthopenthes schawalleri) that promptly flew away after one photograph of it. It was a pleasant encounter as it's been a while I last encountered this type of Click Beetle.

Moving on to another tree, I found a pair of mating Fungus Beetles. I truly enjoy searching out for this type of tiny "black" beetles as you don't know what color or pattern they have until you zoomed into them.

Coming to a fallen log, I found this curious fungus growing on it. I took several photograph of this interesting looking fungus as it was the first time that I come across such fungus. More interestingly, I found what looked like beetles feeding among the "tentacles" when I was preparing the photographs for this blog. Can you spot where are the beetles? I can see 3 of them in this photograph, how many do you see? With this "discovery", I would surely go back there to get some closer shots of them.

The route was not very productive as compared to the usual Venus Drive route that I take and after taking some photographs of this Weevil Beetle, I decided to turn back and call it a day.

On the way back, I came across a fallen log and on its side was this beetle with its rear-end sticking out from a hole. I was not able to get it out of the hole but from the size and shape of the exposed body, I would conclude that it is a Bess Beetle (Aceraius grandis). This particular type of Bess Beetle seemed to be pretty common in this area.

Almost reaching the exit, I found another commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus).

At the exit, I found another Chafer Beetle (Apogonia aequabilis).

Just when I am about to pack up my camera, I found this 2 mm Fungus Beetle on a tree nearby.

The trip was expected to be not as fruitful but the end results was not too bad with 2 first-time-encountered beetles and a potentially "new" beetle to the list (i.e. the beetles that I found on the soft coral like fungus).