Beetle@SG Website

Please check out my website Beetles@SG for identification of beetles found in Singapore

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Night Walk At Venus Drive (17 Oct 2014)

My friend and I was planning to go to the Lower Pierce Reservoir for night macro shoot but the weather turned bad and started to rain not too long before we set off. As it has been a while since we did a night shoot together, we decided to wait out the rain. To increase the chances of finding beetles and critters to photograph, we decided to go to  Venus Drive as the place would still be productive even after rain.

My friend brought along a UV-torch that he bought recently and we decided to give it a try. Here's a photograph of a Common House Striped Scorpion (Isometrus maculatus) taken using the UV light. The photograph was not well taken as I was using big aperture F2 to photograph it and handheld at an angle, hence resulted in the obvious narrow depth-of-field of the photograph.

The first beetle of the trip was a small 3 mm Fungus Beetle. This beetle appeared to be black in color to the naked eyes. The patterns and color only appear when seen through the macro lens.

Near to the Fungus Beetle was a small 3 mm Darkling Beetle which is commonly seen on healthy trees.

On another tree was a tiny 1 mm Fungus Beetle. I always like to look for them as they often surprise me with their colors and patterns.

Another commonly encountered black-color Darkling Beetle found on a tree near by. This specimen is about 3 mm in size.

On another tree was a different bronze color Darkling Beetle. Notice that the color of the legs and antennae are different from the earlier black-color Darkling Beetle, even though the shape of the beetles looked similar.

The place was soaking wet with rain which stopped less than 10 minutes earlier. A commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus) was found hiding under a leaf.

Moving to a Elephant Ear Plant (Alocasia Macrorrhiza), a lovely Ladybird Beetle (Chilocorus circumdatus) was found hiding from the rain under one of the giant leaves.

Several of this commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) were found on a patch of low bushes.

While moving among some 2 meter high small trees, I was surprised to find a pair of Flower Chafer Beetle (Taeniodera monacha).

Under another large Elephant Ear Plant leaf was a Leaf Beetle (Physdanis bicolor).

On the same Elephant Ear Plant was an Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea) under an out-of-reach leaf.

Moving onto the trail, a black-color Darkling Beetle (Promethis valga) was seen on the side of a tall tree.

On a small tree nearby was another small 5 mm Darkling Beetle. Several of this type of beetle were encountered during this trip.

Hiding under some thick creepers was a small 5 mm beetle. I was not able to get a good angle to photograph it for better identification. It looked like a Fungus Beetle.

On a wet fallen log was a Fungus Beetle.

On the same log were several 3 mm Rove Beetles which proved to be a real challenge to photograph. I was fortunate to find one which stopped long enough for me to take some decent photographs.

On a very long fallen tree was a large number of this large 12 mm Darkling Beetles.

At the "clearing", a drenched Weevil Beetle was seen resting  on a large leaf.

Commonly seen on fallen and rotting logs were many of this Fungus Weevil Betele (Eucorynus crassicornis).

On a log deeper into the "clearing" was a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis). I am glad to increasingly find them during my walks since the dry spell happened in February this year.

Interestingly, there were several of this Martinezostes sp. beetles. I noticed two different specimens on the same log. The latter beetle has a smoother elytra than the first one.

While photographing the Martinezostes beetle, a small 3 mm beetle with interesting looking antennae (possibly a Fungus Beetle) was seen moving about quickly.

While I was photographing the small Fungus Beetle, a False Click Beetle flew onto my face. It was about this time that I felt a sharp pain on my right middle finger. A most unfortunate thing happened, a disorientated wasp (possibly disorientated by our torch lights) decided to sting my right middle finger for some unknown reasons.

The fortunate thing is the sting was on the middle finger and not the index finger, else it would have ended the trip then. My middle finger started to swell but I have a feeling that it would not be too big a problem besides the pain. So I decided to continue with the trip and fortunately the pain went away after about two hours later (but the spot where I was stung was still tender to the touch the next day morning). This was indeed a painful but interesting experience.

On a small tree near the "clearing", a small 5 mm Fungus Weevil was found on a patch of lichen.

On the same tree was another Fungus Weevil. The thing I like about night shoots is the ease in photographing these difficult to photograph beetles during the day. There is a really tiny critter (black in color) next to the Fungus Weevil. I encounter them occasionally and wondered what it could be. Could it be a really tiny beetle or is it a kind of mite?

On another tree near by was a tiny 2 mm Fungus Beetle.

Moving down the track, a small 4 mm Ground Beetle (Pentagonica flavipes) was found on a wet leaf.

During my last week trip to Venus Drive, I came across a number of Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) but I am surprised to find a few of them even after the heavy rain.

On a pile of chopped down tree trunks were several of this Fungus Beetle.

Near to the Fungus Beetle was several small Fungus Beetles.

Besides finding the small Fungus Beetle on the tree trunk, they were also found on fungus growing on the logs like below.

The highlight of the trip was the encounter with this used-to-be commonly encountered Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus tetraspilotus). It has been infrequent that I encounter this beetle since the dry spell.

A small first-time-encountered Fungus Beetle was found hiding under a crevice of a tree bark. Notice the two horn-like protrusion on its head?

While I was photographing the Fungus Beetle, my friend call out to me, asking if I am interested in photographing beetle larvae and pointed to this beetle larvae (possibly those of Fungus Beetle). I always enjoy photographing this type of beetle larvae as they looked like soft candy.

On the same tree was another smaller beetle larvae.

On a log near by was another beetle larvae, which looked totally different from the earlier beetle larvae. This is probably a Darkling Beetle larvae.

Near to the location of the "snow tree" (which no longer there) was a dying tree and on it was a lovely patterned Fungus Beetle.

Moving further down the trail, a small 5 mm Checkered Beetle was resting on a lichen. I am not sure if it is just resting on it or was it feeding on it.

Near by to the Checkered Beetle was my all time favorite - a white Ladybird Beetle.

On another wet leaf was a Ground Beetle that looked very much like a cockroach at a glance.

At the base of a rotting tree were several of this small 4 mm Fungus Beetle.

Near to the rotting tree and along side the trail was a very long log. On them were a few tens of this Fungus Beetle (Episcapha quadrimacula).

It was time to leave and we backtracked towards the entrance. Along the way, a Fungus Weevil with long antennae was found on a leaf. My first encounter with this beetle was not too long ago ( ).

The last beetle was a Fungus Beetle (Encymon scintillans scintillans).  The beetle was initially in a very odd position and so I decided it to urge it to a better spot with my finger. It was a mistake as it immediately deployed its chemical defense and my finger was covered with a pungent smell. The lesson learnt here is not to touch Fungus Beetle with your fingers unless you want to smell like them.

The trip was surprisingly fruitful with many different beetles encountered during the 3 hours walk, especially that it is immediately after a heavy rain. I am glad to have persevered to wait out the rain and continued with the trip as planned earlier on.