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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Morning Walk At Venus Drive (27 Dec 2014)

It rained day and night a day before and so I decided to go to Venus Drive early in the morning for my macro-photography session. The sky was cloudy and looked like it may rain again. The vegetation at the place were drenched to the bone and the ground was wet and muddy. Nevertheless, I decided to proceed with the walk.

The highlight of the trip was the encounter with this lovely and rare Banded Flower Mantis (Theopropus elegans). This is the first time that I ever seen such lovely mantis in Singapore. Majority of the mantis that I came across were either brown, green or mottled-brown, so much duller as compared to this particular specimen.

The first beetle for the trip was the familiar Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea) found under an elephant ear plant.

On the same leaf were several of this brightly colored Ladybird Beetle (Chilocorus circumdatus).

Moving to a grassy patch where I would usually find Leaf Beetles, I am glad to be able to find two different types of Leaf Beetle, namely Lema rufotestacea and Lema diversa.

Near to the grassy patch is an area of low trees, and on a leaf of a low tree was this tiny 2 mm Ladybird Beetle (Cryptogonus orbiculus).

On a nearby low tree was this tiny 2 mm first-time-encountered Ladybird Beetle. This specimen is unique as it is completely black.

There was a small tree trunk across the path and I was surprised to find a lone Fungus Beetle on the log.

After a good 10 minutes of walking without seeing any beetle, this mating pair of Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis) was a welcomed sight.

Coming to a wood pile, I was glad to be able to find a number of this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis). This particular specimen was found a leave nearby to the wood pile.

Under one of the log in the wood pile was another Fungus Beetle (Episcapha quadrimacula).

Interestingly, this pair of mating Darkling Beetle was the only pair of this type of beetle encountered during this trip.

On a small fern next to the wood pile was a 4mm Leaf Beetle. This specimen has lost one of its antennae.

Recently the number of wood piles have increased in Venus Drive and this created a wonderful habitat for beetles and other critters. With the wood piles come fungus mushrooms and with them, come the different types of Fungus Beetles. Here are some of the Fungus Beetles that I found on these wood piles and their surrounding vegetation.

Among the different Fungus Beetles encountered during the trip, there was a first-time-encountered Fungus Beetle which is entirely black without any markings.

Resting on a leave next to a wood pile was this orange-brown Fungus Beetle.

Another small 4 mm Fungus Beetle was also resting at the edge of leaf nearby.

I finally reached the spot where the long antennae Fungus Weevil was first found. I am glad to still be able to find this long antennae Fungus Weevil moving actively on one of the tree branches.

Flying around on the tree trunk was another Fungus Beetle. This is a large specimen at about 20 mm.

On the side of the tree trunk was another Fungus Weevil, but much smaller at 5 mm in size.

The sky started to drizzle and so I picked up my paces a little. Just as I passed by some low bushes, I saw a flash of white that flew under a leaf. I guessed that it is a particular Leaf Beetle and true enough it was the Leaf Beetle that I was expecting. I have yet to be able to identify the name of this lovely beetle.

Another highlight of the trip was this first-time-encountered Dung Beetle. It was resting on a leaf at the top part of a low tree. I was only able to get this shot of the beetle due to the bad angle and it flew off after the shot.

The trail led to a open area with a large patch of low bushes and lalang grass (Imperata cylindrica). I was happy to be able to find this Spiny Leaf Beetle (Dicladispa armigera) on one blade of the lalang grass.

As I rushed through the trail, I was stopped by the sight of a red dot on a green leaf. The red dot turned out to be a Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus pardalis). I always like to photograph this beetle due to its brilliant red coloration.

Moving further down the trail, I was surprised to find this  Fungus Beetle resting motionlessly on a leaf. This was the beetle that I came across many months back but I was not able to have a good photograph of it then.

Coming to the base of very a large tree, I found several of this bright orange beetles.

Near to the orange beetle was a tiny 2 mm Bark Beetle.

Further down the trail was a Darkling Beetle (Platydema sp.).

On a tree trunk near to the exit was several of this tiny 2 mm beetle.

The last beetle for the trip was my favorite white Ladybird beetle.

Venus Drive never fail to surprise me with more first-time-encountered beetles and also others interesting critters, even after a heavy rain storm. Hopefully with the ending of the monsoon season, I will be able to find more interesting beetles at the different part of Singapore.

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