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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Night Walk Along Tagore Drive (27 Jun 2014)

My friend and I was planning for a walk along of Tagore Drive. This is the first time that we are visiting the place and do not know what to expect. This is a road along side a military training area and hence the walk was limited to the vegetation on the fringe along side the road. 

The first beetle that came along was a Leaf Beetle (Aulacophora frontalis).

Although the vegetation is lush, there were not many insects encountered. After walking a short while without seeing any beetle, this Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus) resting on a leaf was a welcomed sight.

A stone's throw away was another Chafer Beetle (Aprosterna pallide). This was an interesting find as it's been a while I last encountered this type of beetle in the wild.

As we approached the end of the road, we found out that there was a massive construction work and hence we have to turn back. Just as we were turning back, a first-time-encountered Weevil Beetle was found hiding under a leaf.

Just when we were about to reach the starting point, we chanced upon this Ladybird Beetle. It looked like the Epilachna admirabilis Ladybird Beetle but I am not too sure as the spots on the elytra looked different.

Just a few meters from the Ladybird Beetle was this diurnal Leaf Beetle (Lema diversa).

It was still pretty early and we decided to walk on along the side of another road that fringes the military training area. As we moved along the road, several of this Darkling Beetles were found clinging onto the side of a few trees.

On the same tree with the Darkling Beetles was this lovely patterned Fungus Beetle.

On another tree nearby was this small Fungus Beetle that looked very much black in color until I zoomed in for a closer look.

Coming to a patch of low bushes, a Leaf Beetle was resting at the tip of a leaf.

A few steps away from the Leaf Beetle was the highlight of the trip, a Long Horned Beetle (Epepeotes luscus). It has been a while that I last encountered the Epepeotes luscus Long Horned Beetle.

Near to the Long Horned Beetle was a tree stump and on it were two of this Tumbling Flower Beetle (Mordella holomelaena). This beetle is entirely black in color; the pattern on its elytra in the photograph was due to the flash.

On a nearby creeper plant was this Tortoise Beetle (Laccoptera nepalensis).

Further down on a tree was a large 10 mm Darkling Beetle which remained motionless throughout my photographing.

On another tree was another Darkling Beetle (3 mm) which was a fraction of the 10 mm Darkling Beetle.

Yet another Darkling Beetle (~6 mm) was crawling on another tree trunk.

On the same tree as the Darkling Beetle was this small Fungus Beetle (Beccariola coccinella).

Time flew past quickly and it was time to go. The last beetle was a commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) that was hiding in a dense bush.

The trip started off not too promising but the later part of the trip was much more fruitful than expected. Will surely consider coming to this area again in the future.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Short Walk At Punggol Track 22 (20 Jun 2014)

It was a last minute decision to go for a night shoot and so I decided to go to Punggol Track 22. From my previous experience, the place was not particularly fruitful due to the aggressive development in the area. Not much of "wildness" remained as forested areas made way for roads and new developments.

The purpose of me visiting the place was also to "catch" whatever remained before they are gone forever. The place used to be home to many wildlife especially snakes and frogs, but they are all gone ever since the Punggol 21 Programme started. What used to be heavily forested areas are now manicured parks and gardens.  

For those who are not familiar with Punggol Track 22, many years ago it used to be a 400 meter tarred track leading to a mudflat. Now the track was closed to vehicle traffic and overgrown with grass and creepers. The mudflat has been filled in and became a part of a Park Connector Network that span across the whole of Singapore.

Here's a shot of an interesting egg-case that I found at the place. From the look of it, it should belong to a spider.

The first beetle that I found at the place was a Fungus Weevil. I am surprised to find it moving on a healthy looking tree as I mostly find them on rotting or dying tree logs.

There is a stretch of Sea Hibiscus (Talipariti tiliaceum) that used to have a colony of this small 3 mm Leaf Beetle, but sadly the colony seemed to have disappeared and I was only able to find only a few of them there.

The surprised find for the trip was this Long Horned Beetle (Aeolesthes holosericeus) resting on a blade of grass. I have never find this type of beetle in grass bushes.

The Long Horned Beetle drew my attention to the large stretch of tall grass and I decided to look carefully for beetles. Interestingly I found a 6 mm Leaf Beetle resting on the tip of a blade of grass.

Combing through the tall grass, I was pleasantly surprised to find a Net-winged Beetle (Dictyoptera aurora) sleeping on a blade of grass. This is so interesting as it has never occur to me that such grass patch would have beetles in them.

The last beetle was a Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus) found under a leaf of a tree sapling. This was also my exit cue for the walk and left the place without finding any other beetles.

The trip was not particularly fruitful and it only met my minimum requirement of 6 types of beetle found before I blog about the trip. Nevertheless, I would still go back to another part of Punggol before they are gone forever.

Morning Walk At Venus Drive (18 Jun 2014)

After a week of holiday overseas in a concrete jungle, I was itching to get some real jungle actions. I headed straight to Venus Drive as I am sure that I will not be disappointed in encountering beetles. The place has changed a fair bit given the lush growth of the grass and undergrowth plants, brought about by the regular raining we used to take for granted until the dry spell a few months back.

If you are observant, you would have noticed the brown patches on the grass field on the foreground of the photograph. These brown patches were caused by wild boars and they have destroyed many beetle colonies in the area.

The first beetle that I found was this Ant-like Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea). I was pleasantly surprised to have found a colony of them here.

On the same leaf with the Ant-like Beetle was this lovely Ladybird Beetle (Chilocorus circumdatus). In fact I found 2 more of them in the vicinity.

Moving further I was surprised to find this Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus noblis noblis) which looked very much like the Stenotarsus pardalis Fungus Beetle. This is the first time I found this Fungus Beetle in Venus Drive.

On a leaf nearby was a tiny 2 mm Ladybird Beetle (Cryptogonus orbiculus). They are quite common in Venus Drive but were often missed due to its small size and skittish nature.

Whenever I had my morning walks, I would specially look out for Leaf Beetles among the low bushes. Sure enough a Leaf Beetle (Lema diversa) was found sunning itself on a leaf.

While I was photographing the Leaf Beetle, a Ladybird (Henosepilachna implicata) flew overhead onto a creeper vine.

Moving to the clearing, a bronze colored Leaf Beetle (Graphops curtipennis) was found under some shades. The clearing area can no longer call "clearing" as it is now overgrown with creepers, covering up all the fallen logs. The place has became quite inaccessible due to the undergrowth.

On a plant near to the clearing was this Net-winged Beetle (Dictyoptera aurora) which probably had seen better days.

A tree nearby was full of this tiny 2 mm orangey-brown Fungus Beetle.

Hiding under a air-potato leaf was a 28-Spots Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata). I am always thrilled to find Ladybird Beetles as finding Ladybird Beetles has became less common than before.

Coming to a rotten log, a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus tetraspilotus) was having a feast on some black colored fungus.

Near to the Fungus Beetle was another Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus pardalis). I was so wonderful to find two different Stenotarsus Fungus Beetles on the same trip.

Moving deeper into the trail, a tiny (<3 mm) Leaf Beetle (Eucyclomera nigricollis) was actively moving up and down a leaf.

Coming to a sunny section of the trail, several of this Tumbling Flower Beetle (Glipa malaccana) were dancing on a leaf.

On a fallen log near by was this poor Fungus Beetle which was covered by some kind of parasites. This is the first time that I come across such kind of parasites on the beetle.

Time passes quickly and it was about time for me to pick up my paces if I am to complete the Venus Loop. Just then a slight movement was detected on a tree and this well camouflaged Fungus Weevil was found.

Reaching the Snow Tree, I found this Fungus Beetle was feeding on the side of the tree. The Snow Tree has fallen and is only a stump. Nevertheless there are still some Fungus Beetles on it.

Coming into the shaded area of the trail, a Net-winged Beetle (Calopteron rubricolle) was resting on a leaf. The sun was high up right at this moment and the shade provided a good relief from the heat for the beetle and also for me. We are now into the hot period of the year in Singapore where the temperature is about 34-35 C in the day time.

I was surprised to find this type of Fungus Beetle on a dead log as they usually do not come out in the day time.

On the same log was a first-time-encountered Fungus Beetle.

On the other end of the log was this Fungus Beetle (Eumporphus assamensis). I am glad to be able to find this type of beetles as its population seemed to have dwindled since the dry spell. I guessed that the other contributing factor would possibly be the destruction of many of the fallen logs by wild boars in the area.

On a tree nearby were several of this Beetle Larvae. I am happy to see so many of them at one spot as this means that the beetles are reproducing well.

At the base of a huge tree was this tiny 3 mm Fungus Beetle. I always find it interesting to photograph such tiny beetles as they often looked black in color until you zoomed in to find the colors and patterns on them.

Higher up on the same tree was this Ground Beetle (Pericalus figuratus) which was almost invisible until it moved.

Still on the same tree was this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) that was actively moving around.

The highlight of the trip was finding this large Jewel Beetle (Belionota prasina). Even though I have encountered this type of beetle many times, I am still thrill to find it. You will not miss it if you listen carefully to the sound of it flying as it sounded like a Carpenter Bee flying.

On the same tree where the Jewel Beetle landed was this Fungus Weevil that remained motionlessly on the side of the tree.

Flying actively around the tree was this Checkered Beetle.

On a leaf by the side of the trail was this small 5 mm Fungus Weevil that remained relatively still despite all the flashes from my camera. The color pattern on the beetle looked very much like watercolor painting.

On a leaf nearby was this small 3 mm Leaf Beetle.

A first-time-encountered 2mm Leaf Beetle was found hiding under a shade. It has a brownish underside as compared to the small Leaf Beetle above.

Coming to a rotting tree stump, I was surprised to find a big group of Fungus Beetle congregated in a crevice in the tree stump. This is the first time I see such congregation at Venus Drive, even though it was a common sight at Lower Pierce Reservoir.

A lovely tiny Fungus Beetle was resting on a leaf next to the tree stump.

More of the tiny roundish Fungus Beetle but this one has a different pattern on its elytra.

This Tumbling Flower Beetle (Mordella fasciata) landed right in front of me when I was looking out for beetles among the low bushes. It's been a while I last photograph it and this time round the silverish coloration on the beetle turned out nicely.

It was almost at the end of the trail that I found this interesting looking Leaf Beetle with its antennae longer than its body.

Hiding from the hot sun under some shades was this brightly colored Net-winged Beetle (Xylobanellus erythropterus).

The last beetle for the trip was a first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle.

The trip was enjoyable especially so after spending a week in a concrete jungle. It was also fruitful with 3 first-time-encountered beetles found.