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Friday, 23 January 2015

Night Walk At Pasir Ris Park (23 Jan 2015)

The weatherman said that the weather for Singapore will be dry and windy for the next few weeks. This is not a very good news as such dry weather has quite a negative effects on the beetle population, as can be seen during the dry spell last year. The evening weather was cloudy and cool, so I decided to go to Pasir Ris Park for my beetle photography session. I am not too hopeful about the trip given that it didn't rain much this week and I am expecting to see dust covered leaves and dying plants.

The highlight for the trip was surprisingly not a beetle, but a rarely encountered insect in Singapore ~ Mantidfly. This insect seemed to have an identity crisis and couldn't decide what it wants to be, a Mantis or Wasp.

The first beetle for the trip was a lovely Ladybird Beetle (Harmonia sedecimnotata). To my pleasantly surprised to find a number of them throughout the place. I am also delighted to be able to find the beetle in different stages of development, from larvae to adult beetle.

I was thrilled that about 1 meter from the Harmonia sedecimnotata Ladybird Beetle was another Ladybird Beetle (Heteroneda recticulata). Another lovely Ladybird Beetle.

The effect of the dry weather can be visibly seen in some areas where the leaves of plants were all looking limp. As expected, the number of insects and beetles was lower than normal. It was only after a while of walking before I encountered this common Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis).

It was another 10 minutes of walk before I come across this Chafer Beetle (Maladera castanea) which was feeding on the flowers of a low tree.

More walking before I found this lone 5 mm Darkling Beetle on a tree. This type of beetle can usually be found in small group and so finding only a lone beetle was not a very good sign.

After walking for a while without finding any beetles, this 1 mm beetle became the focus of my camera. We have a colloquial term in Singapore - "No fish, prawn also good!" (direct translation from a Hokkien {Chinese dialect} saying - meaning "better than nothing"), which best described how I felt at that moment.

The walk seemed to be getting worse as I was not able to find even the commonly encountered Adoretus compressus Chafer Beetle. It was a relief to find this small 3 mm first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle hiding in some lichens.

On the same tree was another first-time-encountered tiny 1 mm Fungus Beetle.

Coming to a patch of low grass, I was glad to find a colony of Leaf Beetle (Lema rufotestacea).

Near to the Leaf Beetle colony was a large colony of Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurudenta).

Walking further, I found a Chafer Beetle (Phyllophaga marginalis) nibbling on a leaf. It was at an odd angle so I decided to tilt the leaf a little. Just then the beetle dropped to the ground, giving me a clear shot of it. Noticed how dry was the ground.

The specials for the night was this Tortoiseshell Beetle (Aspidomorpha furcata) on the underside of a leaf.

Near to the Tortoiseshell Beetle was a first-time-encountered 3 mm Darkling Beetle, resting on a dried up tree branch.

Hiding among the roots of a wild orchid was a 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

On a tree nearby were several of this 3 mm Fungus Beetle.

I was on the last stretch of the usual path that I take at Pasir Ris Park and there was a small patch of low grass where several of this shiny 4 mm Leaf Beetle were found.

Near to the low grass patch were some chest-level bushes and I was happy to be able to find another Tortoiseshell Beetle (Laccoptera nepalensis).

Just about 30 meters from the end point, I finally found several of this commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus).

The last beetle was found about 5 meters from the end point. It was a Toe-winged Beetle and it was so hyperactive that it didn't stop for a moment for me to get a good shot of it.

The trip was considered to be fruitful given the dry weather. I sincerely hoped that there will be more rain so that the beetle population would not die out like last year.

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