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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year 2016

This marks the third anniversary of the Beetles@SG blog and website. Here wishing everyone a wonderful and fabulous year ahead. Happy New Year 2016!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Night Walk At Old Upper Thomson Road (11 Dec 2015)

It rained heavily in the late afternoon as expected, since it is currently monsoon season for Singapore. Nevertheless, I decided to continue with my original plan of going to the Old Upper Thomson Road for a walk. The vegetation at the place were still very wet from the  heavy rain and hence I was not expecting to find many beetles this trip.

I was pleasantly surprised to find this juvenile Green Crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) sleeping on a small palm tree. This is a wonderful encounter, but it is getting rarer by the day to encounter them as they are being displaced by the more aggressive introduced species Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor).

The first beetle for the trip was a Soldier Beetle. Its been a while that I last encountered this beetle and this seemed like a good start.

A short distance from the Soldier Beetle was a small 5 mm Net-winged Beetle. This is the second time that I encountered this type of beetle.

Interestingly, despite of the rain the place was full of Adoretus compressus Chafer Beetle and this one was feasting on a wet leaf.

Further down the road was a small dead tree branch where this Chafer Beetle was resting. Not sure what to make of this beetle as its elytra is not as dark as the Apogonia expeditionis Chafer Beetle, but much darker than the usual black thorax-brown elytra Chafer Beetle that I encounter.

Just a stone's throw from the Chafer Beetle was another Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis). Notice the subtle color difference between this Chafer Beetle and the earlier one.

Coming to a fallen tree, there were several of this 10 mm Darkling Beetle on it.

A lone small 3 mm Darkling Beetle was found on a palm tree nearby.

The highlight of the trip was this first-time-encountered Hairy Click Beetle (Synaptus filiformis) resting on a leaf.

Just a few leaves away was a Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta).

The number of beetles encountered was not that many, so I decided to end the trip early. Just when I was about to turn back, this small 5 mm Ground Beetle was found on a leave of a small tree.

The last beetle of the trip was this 5 mm Darkling Beetle on the bark of a palm tree.

Although the number of beetles encountered on this trip was not that high, it was considered to be fruitful, given that it is the monsoon season.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Night Walk At Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (04 Dec 2015)

My friend Reynard wanted to go for a night walk at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve as he has not been there in the night before. I agreed to the idea as I have not been to the place for a while, even though it is a long journey for me getting there by public transport.

For this trip, we decided to take a trail that is still accessible on foot. To our disappointment the vegetation look very wet, indicating that it rained heavily earlier before we were there. This also means that the chances of finding beetles is very slim. Nevertheless, we continued with our plan since we were already there.

Here's a photograph of a juvenile Wagler's Pit Viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) that we encountered at the place. It was very well camouflaged among a patch of tall ferns.

I was at the place slightly early and while waiting for Reynard to arrive, I decided to do some photographing around the waiting area. The first beetle that I found was a small 8 mm Leaf Beetle.

Besides the Leaf Beetle, I didn't find other critters around the waiting area and hence I decided to take a short walk further away. Just while I was walking around, an insect "dive bombed" me on my neck and gave me a rude fright. At that moment I thought a wasp had stunk me. Fortunately, it turned out to be a Chafer Beetle (Aprosterna pallide).

After meeting up with Reynard, we headed to the "entrance" of the trail that we were taking for the night. At the "entrance" was a rotten tree trunk and on it were many interesting bright yellow stringy fungus growing on it. This is the first time that I encounter this type of fungus.

As I looked closer at the stringy fungus, I noticed that there were many small red Springtail and near to them were some really tiny beetle-like insects. Not sure if the black insects were beetles.

We started on the trail and the first beetle encountered there was a small Darkling Beetle (Ceropria induta) on a fallen tree.

Near to the Ceropria induta Darkling beetle was a smaller Darkling Beetle (Amarygmus ovoideus).

While I was photographing the Amarygmus ovoideus Darkling Beetle, Reynard called out to me and showed me this lovely Fungus Beetle.

Nothing much interesting along the trail until I found this Long Horned Beetle (Epepeotes luscus) resting on a fern plant.

More walking without finding any beetle, until we were at the mid point of the trail where I found this small beetle, likely to be a Darkling Beetle (Tenebrionidae family).

Near to the small beetle was a small Darkling Beetle (Strongylium tenuipes) on a tree trunk. This particular specimen was almost half the size of the usual Strongylium tenuipes Darkling Beetle that I came across previously.

At the mid-point of the trail while I was looking out for some of the resident beetles at the location, Reynard showed me a tiny 2 mm Leaf Beetle that landed on him.

Although there were a fair bit of changes to the vegetation at the place, I am glad to still find the Lema quadripunctata Leaf Beetle that I know can be found there.

Next to the Lema quadripunctata Leaf Beetle was a favorite of mine, the Hemipyxis semiviridis Leaf Beetle.

Just a stone's throw away were several wooden pole where these beetle larvae were found. I think they belong to the same type of beetle, just that they are at different stage of development.

On the same wooden pole were a congregation of this tiny 2 mm beetle (Darkling Beetle?) These probably are the adults of the larvae mentioned above.

More walking without encountering any beetle, until this interestingly patterned first-time-encountered Sap Beetle turned up on a low bush. This was the highlight of the trip.

More walking before finding this lovely colored Net-winged Beetle.

Still more walking before encountering this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus).

We reached the end of the trail and were out of the forested area of the trail when I found this small Fungus Beetle on a large fungus mushroom.

The last beetle encountered was a Chafer Beetle feeding on a blade of grass, encountered while walking to the main road.

The trip can considered to be fruitful given the fact that it rained earlier on. The place looked promising and I think it will yield more beetles when the weather is better.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

New Walk At Venus Drive (27 Nov 2015)

My friend wanted to take some photographs of luminous mushroom and hence we headed for Venus Drive as they are known to be found there. On the way to Venus Drive, we were dismay to see massive dark rain clouds in the distance where Venus Drive is. Not wanting to waste the opportunity, we decided to continue and take the chance that it may not rain when we were there. Fortunately, it didn't rain while we were there.

Here's a photograph of a House Centipede (Thereuopoda longicornis) found at the place. Interestingly, we managed to find two of them on this trip.

The first beetle encountered was a small 2 mm beetle found on a tree next to the Venus Drive car park.

Nearby on another tree was a 5 mm Darkling Beetle.

Nearer the entrance of the Venus Drive trail, I found an active beetle larvae moving continuously on a tree.

Near to the entrance was a lone Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) munching on a leaf.

Coming to a big Elephant Ear plant, I am glad to still be able to find the Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea) under one of its big leaves.

Just a stone's throw from the trail entrance, a Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicornis) was found on a wood pile.

The highlight of the trip was a first-time-encountered Weevil Beetle found a rotting wood, on top of a white fungus.

Moving further down the trail, a Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) was found resting on a low plant.

Resting on a leaf near to a wood pile was a Darkling Beetle (Ceropria induta).

On the wood pile next to the Ceropria induta Darkling Beetle, were several of this 10 mm Darkling Beetles.

Further down the trail was a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) on a dead branch.

On a tree near by was a small 2 mm beetle on a tree.

On another tree was a small 5 mm Fungus Beetle.

On a small rotten tree log was a small cryptic looking beetle (Hyberis araneiformis).

On a tree near to the Hyberis araneiformis beetle was a small 2 mm Fungus Beetle.

It is interesting that there were a number of this Ground Beetle around the place during this trip.

Another Ground Beetle (Catascopus dalbertisi) found on a wood pile nearby.

We came to a fallen tree and found many of this 5 mm Darkling Beetles on it.

On the same tree log with the Darkling Beetles was this lone Sap Beetle, hiding in a small depression in the tree bark.

On the other end of the fallen log were several of this small 5 mm beetle.

Moving on, there was a tree with several of this small 2 mm beetles.

While I was photographing the small beetle, my friend called out to me to check this odd looking beetle that he found. It is a first-time-encountered beetle that I initially thought that it is a Long-Horned Beetle given the long antennae. Upon closer look, it turned out that it is not a Long-Horned Beetle. It looked very much like a Darkling Beetle, but will have to check to see what beetle it is.

On another tree was this lovely patterned 8 mm Fungus Weevil.

Moving on to a small dying tree with quite a number of small fungus mushroom growing on it, I found a small 4 mm Ground Beetle (Minuthodes multisetosa).

On the same tree was a lone Rove Beetle. This is one of the toughest beetle to photograph due to its hyperactive nature and speed of movement.

On a tree nearby was a beetle larvae. It is good to be able to see beetle larvae as it is a good sign that the beetles are doing well at the place.

Near the base of a tree at the same spot was a small 5 mm Click Beetle.

Just a few steps from the Click Beetle was another tree with this lovely Darkling Beetle.

I was surprised to find this beetle larvae. Interestingly I don't encounter such later stage beetle larvae often.

I was looking out for this particular Leaf Beetle (Hemipyxis semiviridis) for a while and finally I managed to find it on this trip. This is one of the Leaf Beetles that I know that is active in the night.

There were many of this big 20 mm Ground Beetle (Onyptergia longispinis) found on this trip. From a short distance, it looked very much like forest cockroaches which are in abundance at the place.

We are almost at the end of our trip that we encountered this Darkling Beetle (Strongylium tenuipes) at the base of a tree.

Another interesting find was this large 25 mm Weevil Beetle that was feasting on some young fungus mushrooms on a tree.

On the same tree with the Weevil Beetle was a first-time-encountered Fungus Weevil. This beetle was very hyperactive and I only managed to take a few shots of it before it moved up the tree.

The last beetle for the trip was a Fungus Beetle resting on some white fungus on a rotting tree stump.

The trip was very fruitful with the encounter with more than 30 different types of beetle, with 3 first-time-encountered beetles. I am also thankful that it didn't rain and the place was just nice - not too dry and not too wet. Overall this was a wonderful trip.