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Friday, 20 March 2015

Close Encounter With A Stag Beetle

It was about seven months ago that I found out that Stag Beetles can be found in Singapore ( Early Morning Walk At Venus Drive (30 Aug 2014) ), overturning years of my misconception that Stag Beetles can only be found in Highlands and not in Singapore.

Since then I have been hoping for an opportunity to encounter a living specimen in Singapore. My wish was fulfilled this week when I received a message from my friend whom I regularly go macro photography with. He messaged me to ask for the identity of a beetle that he just photographed.

I initially thought it was a Darkling Beetle or Ground Beetle until I took a closer look at the photograph. My heart almost skipped a beat when I realized that is a Stag Beetle. According to my friend, the beetle was almost a spider's breakfast as it was trapped and wrapped up in spider web. Fortunate for the beetle (and for me), he decided to take it down from the spider web when he saw that it was still alive.

As this is such a rare encounter, I decided to take more shots of it than usual. Here are some of the photographs taken from different angles and degree of close-up. With some knowledge gained from my correspondences with the author (on the Stag Beetle section) of the Singapore Biodiversity book earlier on, I narrowed down the identity of the beetle as Aegus sp. and possibly a female specimen of the Aegus chelifer Stag Beetle. This Stag Beetle looked like the female specimen of the Aegus cf chelifer nitidus  Stag Beetle shown in one of my online friends' website ( Ben's Beetle Breeding Pages ).

The encounter with this Stag Beetle has been a wonderful experience and it reminded me of the earlier years when I first got interested in beetles because of a close encounter with a female Stag Beetle in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.

Below is a photograph of a male Stag Beetle that I encountered when I was in Cameron Highlands last year. Although the size of the Stag Beetle encountered above has no match to the size of those Highlands Stag Beetles, it is still a fascinating beetle to photograph.

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