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Friday, 28 November 2014

Night Walk At Venus Drive (29 Nov 2014)

It is monsoon season in Singapore and it would rain almost every day. The frequency of rain will increase further as we step into the month of December. The rainy season is also the time of the year to see more of the different fungus mushrooms. Many of them would appear overnight in gardens and grass patches, even in residential areas. There are generally not much information on the mushrooms found in Singapore (let alone their edibility) and hence they are best assumed to be poisonous and to be left alone.

For this trip, apart from the beetles, I am also hoping to find a group of fungus mushroom that not too many Singaporeans are aware of - the glow-in-the-dark or luminous mushrooms. It is not surprising that not many people are aware of them as they looked just like any other mushrooms that you would come across on fallen tree trunks.

You will only find them when in total darkness, which not many people would choose to do in the middle of a forest. Here's a shot of the same mushroom taken in total darkness. Please pardon the quality of the photograph as it was taken without a tripod. This has inspired me to bring a tripod on my night walks in order to catch better shots of this lovely mushrooms.

Back to the main reasons for my night walks - beetles. The first beetle was a commonly encountered Darkling Beetle that one can find on tree trunks. They come in different sizes and this one is about 5 mm in size.

On the same tree was a tiny 2 mm Fungus Beetle which is commonly encountered but often missed because of its size.

On another tree was this tiny 1 mm Fungus Beetle.

On a tree nearby was another 2 mm Fungus Beetle with a different pattern from the earlier beetle. As mentioned before, all these beetles looked black to the naked eyes until being seen through the macro-lens.

Moving to a patch of elephant ear plants, several of this brightly colored Ladybird Beetle (Chilocorus circundatus) were found hiding under the large leaves.

Near to the Ladybird Beetle, I was surprised to find a first-time-encountered Net-winged Beetle. This beetle looked like the Taphes brevicollis Net-winged Beetle but different in the shape of its pronotum.

On a low plant was a Leaf Beetle resting on a leaf.

While photographing the Leaf Beetle, I chanced upon this large 25 mm Chafer Beetle (Phyllophaga marginalis).

Moving further on, I came across a low tree infested with this commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus).

On a nearby tree was another Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis).

A few leaves away from the Chafer Beetle was a first-time-encountered 5 mm Long Horned Beetle (Sybra cretifera).

On another low tree, I found this first-time-encoutered Chafer Beetle that looked like the Apogonia expeditionis Chafer Beetle but differed in its broader body and its dark bronze color.

Coming to a patch of another elephant ear plant, I found a lone Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea).

There was a medium size tree that had fallen across the trail and on it was one of my favorite Ground Beetle (Catascopus dalbertisi).

On the side of the trail were several of this Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) resting on different leaves.

While photographing the Tiger Beetle, a first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle flew into my lights and landed on a leaf in front of me.

On a tree, I found a tiny 1 mm beetle. I am not too sure if it is a Fungus Beetle or a Darkling Beetle.

On a fallen tree log were several patches of white fungus and on one of them was a Darkling Beetle (Ceropria superba).

On the same log was a small orange-brown fungus and on it were a pair of first-time-encountered beetle. I am not sure of what beetle they are but they looked like Darkling Beetle. Notice the horns on the male specimen (on the right).

On the same log were several of this Darkling Beetle. In fact, you can find this Darkling Beetle on every fallen logs at the place.

There were several of this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis) on the fallen trees and it was interesting to find one resting on a leaf instead of the log. I noticed that the color of these beetles were not black but brown in color, not sure if it is a different type of beetle.

Near to the log was a Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicoris).

Moving quickly on the log was a small 4 mm beetle (Martinezostes sp.).

Moving further down the trail, a small 5 mm Darkling Beetle was found on the side of a large tree.

On a nearby wood pile, I found several of this 15 mm beetle larvae.

On the same wood pile was an alert Weevil Beetle which quickly disappeared beneath this tree bark.

I am pleasantly surprised to find a group of Rove Beetle that remained in sight despite of my torchlight, which is so unlike those Rove Beetles that I have encountered previously.

On another wood pile nearby, was a Fungus Beetle hiding on  the underside of a chopped tree trunk.

Further under the chopped tree was a pair of Fungus Weevil (Stiboderes impressus). The male beetle is smaller (on the right).

And near to the Fungus Weevil was a mating pair of Weevil Beetle.

The last beetle of the trip was a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis). Compare the color of this beetle with the earlier brown colored one.

This trip was fruitful with several first-time-encountered beetles. I am also happy that I am able to find the luminous mushroom. I will probably start bringing a small tripod to catch the lovely luminous mushrooms.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Night Walk At Pasir Ris Park (21 Nov 2014)

The original plan that my friend and I had was to go to a wild part of Pasir Ris that I had not visited for years. When we reached the location, I was sadden by the massive construction that was happening at that place. Going onto our plan B, we went back to the previous location that we visited at Pasir Ris Park - Night Walk At Pasir Ris Park (31 Oct 2014). Instead of taking the same route, we decided to check out another path, but it turned out to be a very slow start.

Here's a shot of a Club Silverline butterfly (Spindasis syama) at the place. I frequently encounter resting butterfly in the night and this is a first time encounter with this type of butterfly.

Unsurprisingly, the first beetle for the trip was a commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) which seemed to have came out in numbers for this trip.

Equally in large numbers was another commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus).

Interestingly, there were quite a few of this Chafer Beetle (Aprosterna pallide) which used to be very commonly encountered. This is the type of Chafer Beetle that like to fly into homes in the night, probably attracted by the florescent lights used in our homes in Singapore.

As we move down the path, more encounters with the Apogonia expditionis and Adoretus compressus Chafer Beetle. Here's a shot of a female Adoretus compressus Chafer Beetle.

The walk was becoming boring as the number of critters encountered was very low and so we decided to pick up our pace towards the previous location where we encountered a lot more beetles. Just then we came across a first-time-encountered Long Horned Beetle (Pterolophia melanura).

It was a good distance between where we were and the previous spot, and in between I was only able to find this small 5 mm Darkling Beetle on a tree.

We finally reached the spot and the first beetle to greet us there was this Chafer Beetle (Apogonia aequabilis).

After seeing Chafer Beetle after another along the path, we were thrilled to finally find a Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna implicata), even though its elytra was slightly damaged.

The first Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) for the night. This is also the "sign-post" that we have reached the Tiger Beetle colony at the place. The number of this type of Tiger Beetle found at the place was amazing. You literally find them on every other leaf or plant as you walk around the area, so much so that we didn't even stop to take any photograph of them after a while.

Immediately after the Tiger Beetle colony, I found this lovely colored Darkling Beetle (Strongylium erythrocephalum) at the base of a small tree.

On the same tree were several of this small beetle. With my previous wrong identification of the Darkling Beetle as Fungus Beetle, I am beginning to wonder if this is also a Darkling Beetle instead of Fungus Beetle. This type of beetle is commonly found on healthy trees without any fungus growing on them, which possibly means that it is likely to be a Darkling Beetle than a Fungus Beetle.

Higher up on the same tree was a beetle larvae, possibly that of the beetle above.

There were a number of spiders at the place and it was not surprising to find beetles being caught in their large web. Here's  a shot of a spider having a Aprosterna pallide Chafer Beetle for dinner.

Moving to a low grassy patch, there were several of this small 5 mm Leaf Beetle. I am surprised to notice the large mandibles that this Leaf Beetle has.

We are almost at the end of the path and I was pleasantly surprised to find this bright orange Leaf Beetle. This is only the second time that I encountered this type of Leaf Beetle. Sadly, it was at an odd position.

Passing some chest level bushes, my friend asked me whether a dark patch of stuff are beetle larvae, and I was surprised to find that they were indeed beetle larvae of the Tortoiseshell Beetle.

We reached the end of the path and it was also about time to leave, but we decided to linger a little longer to check out another part of the place. I am so glad to be able to find this Tortoiseshell Beetle (Laccoptera nepalensis).

Near to the Laccoptera nepalensis Tortoiseshell Beetle was another surprise find - a lovely Ladybird Beetle (Heteroneda recticulata).

The last beetle for the trip was a Chafer Beetle (Anomala variegata) feasting on the flowers of a low tree.

Although we had a slow start for the trip, I am glad that we are still able to find a number of beetles on this trip. After having experienced the slow start, we told ourselves that we will go directly to the spot where we found beetles the next time we decide to go there.