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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Special Night Walk At Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (27 Sep 2014)

I had the wonderful opportunity to show a film team around the currently closed Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. The team is here filming a documentary on Singapore wild life and is interested in finding some beetles to be filmed for the documentary. Since the team has gotten special permit to film at the place, I seized the opportunity to also do my weekly beetle macro photography. For this particular trip, it was a "test" trip to test the suitability of their filming equipment.

The weather was super dry and hence besides spotting beetles for the team, I was also helping them to spot some of the commonly encountered critters at the place. Here's a shot of the team in action of filming a Spotted House Scorpion (Isometrus maculatus).


While the team was busy testing their equipment and filming, I looked around to see if I can find any beetles. The first beetle was a Ground Beetle (Onypterygia longispinis).


Near to the Ground Beetle was a fallen log and I am pleased to find this lovely Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus nobilis nobilis).


The original plan was to explore the Durian Trail for beetles but owing to the heavy gear the team was carrying, we decided to just explore a short distance from the entrance. As we walk along the path, a dot of yellow-green light (like a LED light) was floating around in the dark. It was a Firefly beetle (Lychnuris fumigata). It took us a while to track it until it landed on a log.


Moving further down the trail, a Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicornis) was found resting on the trunk of a small tree.


Coming to some low bushes, a commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) was having its dinner on a leaf.


The team has a UV torchlight and we decided to give it a try on the Chafer Beetle to see if it would glow. The conclusion was that this beetle does not glow under UV light. The speckles of light were dust and dirt.


While the team was filming another critter, I was fortunate to find a Forked Fungus Beetle. I am not too sure with its identification but it is most probably Bolitotherus cornutus.


The team was unable to film the beetles that I found as they are far too small for their camera equipment that they brought, so I decided to help them spot other larger critters while I continue to enjoy my photographing of beetles. Here's a Rove Beetle which disappeared into the shade within a short 2-3 seconds of my illuminating lights.


Moving to a tree stump, I was pleasantly surprised to find a first-time-encountered Fungus Beetle resting on a patch of white fungus.


Straying a short distance from the team still doing their filming, I came across this interesting looking beetle. I initially thought that it is the commonly seen Darkling Beetle, until I zoomed in closer to see the red coloration on its legs. I immediately thought that it is the Fungus Beetle (Encymon scintillans scintillans) unt il when I was processing the photographs at home that I realized that this is a first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle.

The main difference from the Encymon scintillans scintillans Fungus Beetle was its antennae and also the jet-black color elytra. The Encymon scintillans scintillans Fungus Beetle has clubbed antennae, whereas this Darkling Beetle has a beadlike antennae. The color of the Encymon scintillans scintillans Fungus Beetle is metallic bronze-ish-black in color whereas the Darkling Beetle is jet-black in color.


A photograph of a Encymon scintillans scintillans Fungus Beetle from a previous trip for comparison.


Near to the Darkling Beetle was a commonly encountered Darkling Beetle.


Time flies and it was time for us to leave the place. Just when we are about to reach the exit, a first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle was hiding at the base of a tree vine. This Darkling Beetle looked similar to the commonly encountered Darkling Beetle exept for its purplish-black coloration.


Although we didn't travel very far for this particular trip, I am glad to still find a few first-time-encountered beetle. Hopefully the next trip with the team would be even more fruitful.