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Friday, 10 October 2014

Night Walk At Venus Drive (10 Oct 2014)

The weather was dry and so I decided to go to Venus Drive for a walk as it would have a higher chance of finding beetles despite the less-then-ideal weather. Here's a picture taken (ISO3200, F/2, 1/2, handheld) at the exit of the trail at about 1030 pm.

The first beetle that came to view was a brownish-orange Leaf Beetle. The distinctiveness of this Leaf Beetle is its dark colored mouthparts.

The next beetle was a 3 mm Fungus Beetle on a tree nearby. This type of beetles looked totally black to the naked eyes until you zoom closer with the camera.

The night seemed to be for the commonly encountered Chafer Beetles as there were loads of them all over the place. This is the Apogonia expeditionis Chafer Beetle.

The low bushes were full of Adoretus compressus Chafer Beetles having a feast on the leaves. Here's a photograph of a fully brown Adoretus compressus Chafer Beetle (probably a female).

A mottle Adoretus compressus Chafer Beetle (possibly male) on the same low bushes.

Moving to some large Elephant Ear Plant, I was curious as to whether I can find the Ant-like Beetle just as I find them in the day time. Looking under one of the big leaf, I was glad to be able to find several of this 3 mm Ant-like Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea).

Moving to the trail, I was surprised to find several of this Tiger Beetles (Cicindela aurulenta). I am surprised as this type of Tiger Beetle are no so commonly encountered at Venus Drive.

The Tiger Beetle remained relatively still and hence I decided to take a close up shot of its head, making full use of my 60 mm Tamron 1:1 macro lens. You can easily see why they are called Tiger Beetle from their scary looking mandibles.

The next beetle was a beetle of which family I had difficulty identifying. This time round I decided to take some close up of the hind legs to do some tarsus-count. The tarsus count of Darkling Beetle is 5-5-4 and Fungus Beetle is 5-5-5. From the tarsus count, this beetle should be a Fungus Beetle.

Tarsus count of the hind legs of the beetle above.

On a small tree nearby were two of this small 4 mm Darkling Beetles.

On another tree was this 3 mm Fungus Beetle. This tiny beetle was rather hyper-active and started moving quickly about when I was photographing it.

Coming to the "clearing", the fallen logs were full of this type of 10 mm Darkling Beetle.

On the same log were several Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicornis).

It is quite common to find this lovely Ground Beetle (Catascopus dalbertisi) on fallen logs. You would usually find one of them on each fallen log and it is not uncommon to find several of them if the fallen log is large.

On another fallen log was this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis). You can see how dry the place was from the layer of dust that settled on this beetle. The haze from Indonesia has recently started to descend on Singapore and the PSI index has been in the moderate range (below 100). Hopefully this is only temporary and would go away soon.

A surprised find was this colorful Fungus Beetle. I first encountered this type of beetle when the original "snow tree" was still around but totally disappeared with the falling of the "snow tree". This particular specimen was found under a leaf.

Moving to a pile of cut tree branches, several of this Rove Beetle were running wildly on the side of the branches, stopping only occasionally for a breather. To date this is one of the most difficult beetles to photograph properly due to its fast movements.

On a tree nearby was a small 3 mm Darkling Beetle. The interesting thing about this beetle is that it looked very much like the other larger Darkling Beetles.

On the same tree was a 2 mm Fungus Beetle.

Moving down the trail, I was happy to find this lovely Darkling Beetle. I initially thought that it is a Strongylium erythrocephalum Darkling Beetle, but later realized that it is a different type of Darkling Beetle (Collyrodes lacordairei) when I took some shots form the side.

Side view of the Collyrodes lacordairei Darkling Beetle.

On a tree near to the Darkling Beetle was another Darkling Beetle but this is about 6-7 mm in size.

Moving on to another pile of chopped tree branches, several of this cryptic looking Monommid Beetle (Hyberis araneiformis).

On the same pile was this Fungus Beetle posing nicely for a lovely macro shot.

On a tree nearby was a tiny 1 mm Fungus Beetle. As usual, the beetle looked entire black until you zoom in with the camera.

Next to the chopped tree branch pile was a dry fallen log and on it was this first-time-encountered black hairy beetle.

On a tree by the side of the trail was this 5 mm Fungus Weevil. This Fungus Weevil is very active in the day and is very difficult to photograph.

On the same tree was also a 4 mm Darkling Beetle.

On another tree were several of this Fungus Weevil. At a glance, it looked very much like the Eucorynus crassicornis Fungus Weevil but upon closer look, it is different in terms of the markings on the elytra and also the reddish markings on it.

On the same tree was this first-time-encountered 4 mm Fungus Beetle. This beetle was rather skittish and started moving around when my torch lights was on it.

Moving quickly on the same tree was this Flat Bark Beetle (Catogenus rufus). It seemed to be moving blindly about as it ended running into the path of some ants which attacked it spontaneously. I intervened as I was not about to see such lovely beetle fall prey to the ants.

My target end point for the night was the spot where I found the super long antennae Fungus Weevil ( I am curious if I can find some other beetles at the spot. To my pleasant surprise, I found this love first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle.

At this time, my camera flash started to heat up due to the continuous firing of the flash (and it stopped operating due to a built-in protection feature) and so I decided to end the trip. As I was walking briskly towards the exit, a Ground Beetle (Onyterygia longispinis) was found on the side of a large tree. Fortunately, the flash cooled down sufficiently for me to take a few photograph of it.

The last beetle was a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) resting on a leaf.

Although the place was bone dry and hot, I am glad to still find 3 first-time-encountered beetles and many other beetles.