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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Morning Walk At Venus Drive (28 Feb 2015)

It has been a busy Chinese New Year week and so I decided to chill out at Venus Drive. Venus Drive is a good place to go as the place has relatively lower human traffic, especially for the trail that I usually take. With chilling out in mind, my pace of walking was almost half of my usual pace.

I like to visit Venus Drive as the chances of finding beetles is much higher than the other locations. Apart from beetles, the place is also great for finding other insects such as this 3 mm interesting looking insect called Lace Bug.


The first beetle was a Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea), found under a large elephant ear leaf.


Moving towards the grassy mound where different Leaf Beetles can be found, I was glad to find a Leaf Beetle (Lema rufotestacea) resting on a blade of grass.


Near to the Leaf Beetle was a 2 mm Ladybird Beetle (Diomus terminatus) on a blade of grass covered with a layer of web.


The highlight of the trip was the encounter of this first-time-encountered Firefly Beetle. At a cursory glance, it looked like the Pteroptyx valida or the Pteroptyx malaccae Firefly Beetle, but upon closer examination of the photographs taken, there are many differences found.


Coming to a low bush,  I spotted a small speck on a leaf that looked like a beetle. True enough, as I zoomed in with my camera, I found that it was a Weevil Beetle in a resting posture. After a few camera flashes, the beetle decided that it had enough disturbance and started to take a walk.


Moving near to the clearing, I was surprised to find a Tumbling Flower Beetle (Glipa malaccana) resting under the shade of another large leaf.


One of the positive impact of the dry weather that we are now experiencing is that the prolific creepers started to die back, exposing all the fallen logs at the place. On one of the exposed fallen tree log was this lone Fungus Beetle.


Next to the Fungus Beetle was another Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis). Interestingly, this particular beetle didn't move at all despite the flashing of my camera flash. This is pretty odd as all my previous encounters with this type of beetle were often "catch-up" games - trying very hard to catch-up with the beetles' movement through the camera lens.


As I was moving slowly along the Venus Drive path, I saw a white dot flew past and quickly disappeared under a leaf. It was a tell-tale sign of one of my favorite beetle - a white Ladybird Beetle. It was a challenge photographing this type of beetle as they rarely appear on top of leaves and one would need to contort one's body in order to get a good shot of it.


Since I was not in a hurry, I decided to explore a spot where many of the undergrowth creepers (e.g. air potato plant) had died back, exposing a few fallen logs. On a leaf of a low tree was this lovely looking Long Horned Beetle.


Moving on, I found a first-time-encountered beetle  (Leaf Beetle ?) resting on the tip of a fern.


Flying restlessly around was a Pintail Beetle, which proved to be a challenge especially under the strong morning sun.


Near to the Pintail Beetle was a Leaf Beetle (Graphops curtipennis).


Moving deeper, I was happy to find this lovely colored Leaf Beetle.


On a fallen log near to the Leaf Beetle was a Pleasing Fungus Beetle, which was moving about nervously.


On another fallen log was a slimy looking fungus mushroom, and on it were a number of Sap Beetles.



Moving away from the clearing, I saw a Net-winged Beetle (Taphes brevicollis) in flight and decided to follow after it. After following it for a short while, it finally rested on a leaf for me to photograph.


Coming to a tree that is quick becoming a "snow tree" [ Night walk at Venus Drive (30 Jan 2015) ], I was glad to be able to catch a glimpse of a Checkered Beetle. This beetle was so skittish that I only managed to get one photograph and it flew into the bushes.


There were many 4 mm holes that dotted the whole trunk of the tree.


Upon closer examination, I managed to see the critters that made these holes. Judging from the look of their back ends, the critters are likely to be Ambrosia Beetles.


It was about time for me to go, so I picked up my paces and walked towards the "exit" of the trail. Just then I found a 2 mm first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle.


While I was photographing the 2 mm Leaf Beetle, a beetle flew right in front of me. I was thrilled to see that it was a Long Horned Beetle (Sclethrus amoenus) that many mistook it for a Tiger Beetle.


Just immediately after photographing the Long Horned Beetle, a yellow colored beetle flew ahead of me into some low bushes. Thinking that it was a Lema rufotestacea Leaf Beetle, I quietly moved towards the low bush and was pleasantly surprised to find this yellow Soldier Beetle instead. It has been a long while I last encountered this type of beetle.


While I was still feeling fortunate that I was able to find so many interesting beetles in a row, another interesting beetle was found hiding under some shades. It was a Net-winged Beetle and it is likely to be Calopteron rubricolle.


It was almost at the end of the trail that I found this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus mirus) on the base of a small tree.


The last beetle of the trip was a beetle larvae. I am glad to be able to find this beetle larvae as it has been a while since the dry weather started that I found any of them.


This trip was unexpectedly fruitful, especially when I was on a slow, chilling-out pace. I was not expecting to find so many different beetles, not mentioning the first-time-encountered beetles and those beetles that got away. It was indeed a wonderful trip.