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Saturday, 7 February 2015

Night Walk At Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (06 Feb 2015)

It's been more than a month since I visited the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, so I thought it would be good to go for a walk there. The walk was limited to the fringe of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve as the place was closed for restoration since last year. Although it rained heavily in the morning, the place still looked very dry and "lifeless". The dry phase of the North-East Monsoon may have taken its toll on the place as the number of critters seemed to have dropped significantly.

Interestingly, there were many Giant Forest Ant (Camponotus gigas) encountered, and for this trip I saw the biggest one so far on my trips - a good 40 mm Giant Forest Ant was seen up on a tree trunk. Here's a smaller one (~25 mm)on a leaf nearby .

The first beetle of the trip was a lovely Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus nobilis nobilis) resting on a leaf of a wild ginger plant. Its been a while that I last encounter this particular type of Fungus Beetle.

The place looked rather "lifeless" as not many insects were found, mostly grasshoppers and small moths. It was only walking for about 10 minutes before I found this small 5 mm Darkling Beetle on a dried up log.

How I usually find beetles during my night walks was to check the trunk of trees. Usually I would find Darkling Beetles, Fungus Weevil Beetles and the occasional Click Beetles. For this trip, I encountered many of this tiny 2 mm beetle, not sure if it is a Darkling Beetle or Fungus Beetle.

As I journeyed on, it seemed like the trip will not be a fruitful one. After walking for a while, I finally found this small 4 mm Leaf Beetle which kept moving around the plant, making it a challenge photographing it.

I finally came to a long stretch of low plants that I would usually find Leaf Beetles. True enough I found a Leaf Beetle on a badly eaten leaf, albeit it was the only Leaf Beetle found at the stretch of low plants.

Moving further down, a common Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) was found at the tip of a low plant.

There were several fallen trees along the side of the path but majority of them were dry and lifeless, well at least I didn't see any movements or found any beetles or other critters on them. I was so glad to be able to find this  10 mm Darkling Beetle on one of the fallen tree, even though this type of Darkling Beetle is commonly found on fallen logs.

It was at the mid point of my walk that I came across this lone Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus). This is the only yellow spotted Fungus Beetle that I came across for this trip.

Coming to a small patch of ginger plant, I was glad that the resident Leaf Beetle (Lema quadripunctata) were still there, despite the bad condition of the ginger plants.

Near to the ginger patch was a fallen tree that has a surprisingly lush mushroom bloom, and on it was a Pleasing Fungus Beetle. Notice the Pleasing Fungus Beetle at the lower left of the photograph.

On a near by tree was a small 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

After walking for a while without finding any beetles, this different Pleasing Fungus Beetle was a welcomed sight.

I am almost at the end of the path when this small 3 mm Ground Beetle was found on a chewed up tree log.

Just as I was lamenting that there are so few beetles found, a Long Horned Beetle (Aeolesthes holosericeus) was found resting on a leaf.

It was just about 50 meters before I reached the end, I was surprised to find a Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) resting on a leaf.

It was only meters to the end where I found a fallen log with a number of whitish fungus mushrooms were growing. On one of the mushrooms was this tiny 2 mm first-time-encountered Rove Beetle.

Near to the Rove Beetle was a pair of Fungus Beetle (Triplax rufipes).

The types of beetle found on this trip was pretty much the same as my previous trip, and with only one first-time-encountered beetle found. The result of the trip was not as bad as I would imagine, especially given that we are in the dry phase of the North-East monsoon, and also I am only just going along the perimeter of the place.