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Friday, 24 October 2014

Recce Walk Near The Singapore Night Safari(24 Oct 2014)

I have always wanted to check out the stretch of Mandai Lake Road that leads to the Singapore Night Safari, so I decided to go there for a recce. This is the first time that I am visiting the place at night and am not sure what I will find there. I decided to start my walk on the side of the road where the vegetation fringes the Upper Seletar Reservoir and the plan is to turn back an hour later on the opposite side of the road, back to the starting point at the Singapore Zoo.

For those who are not familiar, there are three attractions at the location - Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari. Thanks to the Night Safari that operates in the night that we can have public transport to the place at night. Below was a test shot of the Singapore Night Safari when I was setting up my camera.

The starting was a little slow with not much critters found and the first beetle I found was a commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus). This beetle seemed to be out in numbers.

Lining the both sides of the road are large trees (1 tree for every 20 meters) planted as part of the efforts for the greening up of Singapore. The greening up of  Singapore started in the 1840s with the Bristish colonial government, due to the concerns of deforestation and destruction of forest hills to make way for gambier cultivation. The greening efforts went into full gear in the 1960s and we are now enjoying the fruits and foresight of our greening pioneers.

On these large trees were Darkling Beetles of varying sizes. This particular specimen is about 5 mm in size.

The next Darkling Beetle found on another tree was about 3 mm in size.

Coming to a patch of Simpoh Air plant (Dillenia suffruticosa), I was pleasantly surprised to find a brightly colored Ladybird Beetle (Chilocurs circumdatus).

At a small patch of the Singapore  Rhododendron plant (Melastoma malabathricum), I was able to find several of this Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis).

Moving further down the road side, I came across this small 1 mm Fungus Beetle which for some unexplained reason, I was not able to have a clear view of the patterns on the beetle.

The highlight of the trip was the encounter of this small 5 mm Weevil Beetle.

On another tree was a 8 mm Darkling Beetle. These Darkling Beetle are commonly encountered in Singapore in the night.

Coming to a large patch of  Rhododendron plant (Melastoma malabathricum) near to the edge of the Upper Seletar Reservoir, three types of Chafer Beetle were found - Aprosterna pallide, Apogonia expedtionis and Adoretus compressus.

Resting on the tip of a vine was this 5 mm Leaf Beetle.

Time passes by quickly and it was time to turn back from the other side of the road. At the entrance to the closed down Singapore Orchid Garden, a 5mm Darkling Beetle with two sharp horn-like protrusions was found. I believe this is a Platydema sp.   I have all this while thought that it belongs to the Fungus Beetle family until recently that I noticed that it belongs to the Darkling Beetle family. So my apologies for the misinformation in my previous blog entries on this family of beetle.

The last beetle of the trip was this diurnal Leaf Beetle (Hoplasoma unicolor) resting on the underside of a badly eaten leaf. This beetle can be easily identified by its black abdomen.

This was a quick trip and the number of beetles found was not as numerous compared to the locations. I may consider coming to this place again but possibly taking the near by Mandai Track 15 route instead.