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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Morning Walk At Venus Drive (08 Nov 2014)

It rained the night before and hence I was not able to go to Upper Seletar Reservoir as originally planned. I arose early the next morning to see if I can have an early start, but to my disappointment the sky is still drizzling. Not wanting to miss my weekly walk, I decided to take a risk and set off despite the overcast and drizzling sky. My heart lifted when I was at Venus Drive as the drizzle has stopped and the sun started to peak through the gray clouds. I have chosen Venus Drive for the obvious reason that the chances of finding beetle at Venus Drive after the rain is very much higher than the other locations.

The place was very wet and I decided to head straight towards the nearby elephant ear plants (Alocasia macrorrhiza) as this is one of the best place to look for beetle after a heavy rain.

As expected, I was able to find three different beetles under the leaves of the elephant ear plants. The first beetle was a bright orange Ladybird Beetle (Chiloorus circumdatus). There were several of them found under the large protective leaves of the plants.

Near to the Ladybird Beetle was a Weevil Beetle (Cerobates sexsulcatus).

On another leaf was a pair of Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea).

After combing through the usual grass mounds without finding any beetles, I decided to head straight into the Venus Drive trail. The first beetle was a Fungus Beetle on a drenched tree branch.

One tip for "beetling" on wet weather is to look under leaves and shaded branches. And sure enough, I found another Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) hiding under a shaded vine.

Coming to the "clearing", I carefully searched under leaves of bushes and trees. My hard work paid off with the finding of a Ladybird Beetle (Illeis koebelei). The earlier rain was really heavy as can be seen from the wetness of the leaf, even though it is the underside of the leaf.

Next to the Ladybird was a beetle larvae, which from its coloration and also its close proximity to the Illeis koebelei Ladybird, should be a Illeis koebelei Ladybird larvae.

Under the same leaf was my favorite white Ladybird Beetle.

Looking at the fallen logs at the "clearing", I managed to find several of this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis). The wetness of the place can be seen from the drenched beetle and also the log that it was on.

Not many beetles were encountered at the "clearing" and so I decided to move on. While moving away from the "clearing", I was surprised to find this long antennae beetle (likely to be a Fungus Weevil) under a thick canopy of leaves. From the length of the antennae, it should be a male beetle.

At this point, I found a new clearing and it was surprisingly full of the white Ladybird Beetles and also this Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis).

Among the low trees at the new clearing were several of this lovely metallic blue Leaf Beetles.

While I was photographing the Leaf Beetle, a Tiger Beetle (Neocollyris celebensis) landed a short distance away. I immediately tried to photograph it but was not too successful as I only able to take this photograph before it flew into the bushes.

Still at the new clearing, I managed to spot a 3 mm Weevil Beetle hiding in between the branches of a low bush. It started to move around after a few camera shots.

Near to the Weevil Beetle was a Fungus Beetle (Senotarsus pardalis). I love to photograph this beetle because of its bright orange-red color.

Moving away from the new clearing, I finally came to the "snow" tree number 2. Here is a photograph of the snow tree. Can you spot any beetles on the tree?

Here is one of the few Fungus Beetles found on the tree.

On the "snow" tree were several large fungus mushrooms and in them were a few tiny 3 mm Fungus Beetles.
[Afternote :I was informed by David Gall that this is a Sap Beetle in the Nitidulidae family. Thanx.]

Near to the "snow" tree was a huge fallen log and on it was this tiny 4 mm beetle larvae.

Just before the trip, I was wondering what happened to the Net-winged Beetles as I have not seen them during my recent trips. While passing a newly fallen tree, I was glad to find several Net-winged Beetle (Xylobanellus erythropterus). This Net-winged Beetle is about 12 mm in size.

Near to the first Net-winged Beetle were several other Net-winged Beetles, but smaller in size. They are about half the size of the first Net-winged Beetle and I would guessed that they are probably male beetles and the first Net-winged Beetle being the female.

Moving on, I was glad to find this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus mirus) resting on the side of a fallen tree.

On the same log was this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus tetraaspilotus). I am glad that increasingly this beetle can be seen during my weekly walks.

After trekking through a deeper part of the place, I decided to keep to the trail and not venture deeper into the forest given the amount of mud that I have picked up on my boots.  While I was walking on the trail, this Leaf Beetle landed right in front of me. I have not encounter this beetle for a while and am glad to still be able to find it, especially after a heavy rain.

The sky started to drizzle again and just then I reached the place where I first encountered the long-antennae Fungus Weevil. On the same tree log that I found the long-antennae Fungus Weevil, I found several beetles. The first one was a Fungus Beetle (Ohtaius lunulatus).

The other beetle was a Fungus Weevil. It was pretty calm and remained very still even for me to photograph it.

On the underside of the tree log was a small 5 mm Ground Beetle (Pericalus figuratus).

At the part of the tree where there was a patch of newly sprouted fungus mushrooms, a Fungus Beetle (Microsternus sp.) was having its breakfast.

Near to the tree log was a female long antennae Fungus Weevil. Noticed the shorter antennae as compared to the male as encountered earlier on.

With the weather turning bad, I decided to turn back. On the way back, I found this tiny 2 mm Ambrosia Beetle.

The last beetle of the trip was this brightly colored Leaf Beetle. This beetle some how reminded me of strawberries.

Near by was a pair of mating Leaf Beetle. I have included the photograph here to show the size difference between the male (top) and female beetle. This is also why I concluded that the earlier bigger Net-winged Beetle is a female Net-winged Beetle.

I was glad that I managed to get a few hours of good weather to look and photograph beetles. I think the monsoon has started as it was raining almost everyday. The rain would usually start in the late evening and continue until the next morning. Hopefully for the coming two months or so, I can have good weather when I take my weekly walks.