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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Picnic At Upper Pierce Reservoir (22 Oct 2014)

Today is a public holiday (Deepavali) in Singapore and a group of friends decided to go to Upper Pierce Reservoir for a morning picnic. The weather was still hazy despite the heavy rain the day before.

Besides the usual picnic stuff, I decided to bring my camera to see if I can get some beetle actions while at the place. It has been a while I last went to Upper Pierce Reservoir as it is not accessible without a car and also the main gate to the place closes at 7 pm. In any case, the place is not as productive in terms of finding beetles as compared to the other nearby reservoirs, and hence I would not visit the place intentionally.

Taking a little bit of time off from the picnic gathering and I managed to take a short walk around the place. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) for the morning was about 60, making the place looked like it was shrouded with mist.

One of the critters that I came across at the place was this not so commonly encountered Green Crested Tree Lizard (Bronchocela cirstatella). This type of tree lizard used to be very common in Singapore but over the years they have been displaced by the more aggressive Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor). The latter is so prolific that you can find them anywhere in Singapore -  along roadsides, home garden and even in our shopping and business districts.

The first beetle that I came across was a surprise. It was a Fungus Beetle with a pair of nasty looking hooks on its elytra. If I remember correctly, I only encountered this beetle about two times before. This beetle was found at the most unlikely of places, it was on a small 25 cm rock under a tree.

Here's another shot of the beetle. I decided to have additional photographs of the same beetle posted due to the low number of beetles encountered.

The next beetle encountered was a Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis), commonly found on the Singapore Rhododendron plant (Melastoma malabathricum).

While looking around the low trees, I saw a yellow speck that flew under a low bush. I quickly rushed to see what it would be. I was pleasantly surprised to find a first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle. I initially thought that it was the Hoplasoma unicolor Leaf Beetle which is a commonly encountered beetle at Upper Pierce Reservoir. I particularly like the yellow color elytra.

The last beetle encountered was the Hoplasoma unicolor Leaf Beetle which you can find flying among the Clerodendrum villosum plants in large number.

This was an unintentional trip and finding a first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle and also the interesting looking Fungus Beetle made me want to take the time to blog about it.