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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Morning Walk At Venus Drive (30 May 2015)

The morning weather was nice and I decided to go to Venus Drive for a walk. To avoid the weekend crowd, I went to the place slightly earlier then usual, but even so the place was full of joggers and trekkers.

Undeterred by the crowd,  a Clouded Monitor Lizard (Varanus nebulous) was seen foraging for food along side the foot path.

The first beetle was a Leaf Beetle (Lema rufotestacea) found on leaf at the grass mound where I usually find Leaf Beetles.

At the same mound was a tiny 3 mm first-time-encountered beetle resting on a blade of grass. It looked very much like a Fungus Beetle.

On a low bush nearby was a Leaf Beetle. It looked very much like a Lema diversa Leaf Beetle, except for the entirely black coloration of its elytra. Not sure if this is a different type of Leaf Beetle.

Just a few meters away was a Leaf Beetle (Lema diversa). Notice the color of its elytra is different compared to the above Leaf Beetle.

Coming to an Elephant Ear Plant, I am happy to be able to find several of this Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea).

At the base of a small tree near to the Elephant Eat plant was a familiar Darking Beetle (Strongylium tenuipes).

The place has changed a fair bit due to the various fallen trees that I mentioned in my previous blog of the place. Here is a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) found on one of the tree branches, munching on a patch of black fungus.

On the same tree branch was another Fungus Beetle (Episcapha quadrimacula) which seemed pretty restlless.

Walking deeper into the trail, I was surprised to find this Checkered Beetle (Stigmatiun granulosum) resting on the side of a tree motionlessly.

As I was walking along the trail, my eyes caught sight of a black speck that landed on a leaf. It turned out to be a Pintail Beetle.

Coming to a place with a very large fallen tree, I decided to check it out before moving further. On the log were several Sap Beetles on top of some fungus mushrooms.

Just centimeters from the Sap Beetle was a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis).

Under a leaf near to the fallen log was a Fungus Weevil.

Moving on to another wood pile, was this only specimen of this type of  Darkling Beetle that I encountered during this trip.

The weather was warming up and so I picked up my pace a little, just then I saw a tiny black speck under a leaf. As I trained my camera on it and zoomed in, it turned out to be a small Weevil Beetle.

Directly below the Weevil Beetle was a small Clidemia (Clidemia hirta) plant with this lone Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis).

Further down the path, hiding under some shade was this small Leaf Beetle (Graphops curtipennis).

It was only after walking for a short while before I found several pairs of this mating 2 mm Fungus Beetle.

On a tree nearby was this orange color beetle larvae.

Coming to a rotting log, I was disappointed to find a dismembered Bess Beetle (Aceraius grandis) on it. Not sure how this poor fellow ended up this way.

There was a wood pile further down the trail and I was surprised to find this small 3 mm first-time-encountered Fungus Weevil on a branch. This beetle was very alert and it flew off after only one photograph. When I was reviewing the photographs, I am amazed by the length of its antennae.

More fallen trees along the trail and on one of the tree trunks was this lovely metallic green Tiger Beetle (Cicindela chrysippe) running up and down the trunk.

Next to the Tiger Beetle on the ground was this round 3 mm beetle.

On one of the branches on the woodpile was this active and interesting looking beetle larvae.

On the side of the tree branch was a patch of white fungus mushroom and on it was a Fungus Beetle having its meal.

More walking before coming across this lovely Pintail Beetle (Mordella fasciata) which I have not come across for a while.

Near to the Pintail Beetle was an interesting looking beetle larvae. I wonder how the adult beetle looks like?

As I was walking on the trail, a brown speck flew onto the tree trunk right in front of me, and it turned out to be a Fungus Weevil.

Just meters from the Fungus Weevil was a first-time-encountered Long Horned Beetle. Sadly, this beetle was hyper sensitive and flew away before I can take a good look at its pattern and coloration.

Fumbling among some low bushes were several of this Tumbling Flower Beetle (Glipa malaccana). It was a challenge to get a good shot of this beetle as they were hyperactive and didn't stop moving around the place.

It was about time to go back and so I picked up my paces. As I was passing a low bush, I was surprised to find this Leaf Beetle (Arcastes biplagiata). I am even more surprised that the beetle didn't fly away despite the flashing of the camera flash.

The highlight of the trip was the encounter of this Leaf Rolling Beetle. It was such a thrill finding and photographing this beetle.

It was near the exit that I found this first-time-encountered Jewel Beetle on a pile of nicely cut up tree trunks.

The last beetle was also a surprise - another Jewel Beetle (Belionata prasina) foraging on the huge fallen tree near to the exit.

The number of beetles encountered during this trip was considerably large, given the hot weather. I am glad to be able to find several first-time-encountered beetles despite the endurance testing weather.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Night Walk At Venus Drive (22 May 2015)

My friend and I decided to go to Venus Drive for our night macro photography session as we were hoping to also find luminous mushrooms, apart from the usual beetles. My friend was elated when he found this juvenile snake resting on a tree branch. He was hoping to find some snakes on this trip and he had his wish came true. I hardly come across snakes in Venus Drive and this was the first time I come across this type of snakes.

After searching the internet, I found out that this snake is called Orange-bellied Ringneck (Gongylosoma baliodeirum).

The first beetle for the trip was a commonly encountered 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

The number of fallen trees at the place seemed to have increased since the last time I went to the place (Morning Walk At Venus Drive (01 May 2015)). As I was searching through the fallen branches, I was surprised to find this Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) on one of the dead branches.

Moving to a large elephant ear plant, I was glad to still find this Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea). Sadly, the usual elephant ear plant that I used to find a colony of this beetle has been overtaken by some white color flies, and not a single beetle can be found.

Coming to a large fallen log, I found this first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle clinging to the bark near the underside of the trunk. It looked very much like the other Darkling Beetles with red legs but differs in the matted coloration on its elytra.

On a dead log near to the red-legged Darkling Beetle was another commonly encountered Darkling Beetle (Ceropria induta). This type of beetle used to congregate in large number in the night.

Coming to a place where a large tree have fallen, I was happy to see different type of beetles on the fallen tree. Here's a commonly encountered 10 mm Darkling Beetle.

Near to the Darkling Beetle was a Long Horned Beetle (Coptops annulipes) on a nicely cut tree branch.

On the same branch was a small 3 mm Ground Beetle. When I found this beetle, I thought it is a Minuthodes multisetosa Ground Beetle. Later on when I was preparing the photographs for this blog, I noticed that the pattern of this beetle was slightly different from the Minuthodes multisetosa Ground Beetle. This could be a first-time-encountered Ground Beetle.

On the fallen tree, I was surprised to find many of this fast-moving beetle. Not sure what beetle was it. It could likely be a Darkling Beetle.

Moving to another fallen tree, I found another Ground Beetle (Coptodera marginata).

On the main trunk of the fallen tree was this Darkling Beetle (Ceropria induta).

Further down the trail was a small rotten log where this Darking Beetle (Ceropria superba) was found.

Along the side of the trail, I was surprised to find this lone Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta). This type of Tiger Beetle is the most common Tiger Beetle that can be found in our parks and nature reserves.

Coming to a patch of Singapore Rhododendron (Melastome malabathricum) plants, I was happy to be able to find this Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis) as this beetle only comes out during the day.

Near to the Leaf Beetle was a small tree with this lovely Darkling Beetle (Strongylium tenuipes) in its usual pose.

Further down the trail was another wood pile and a Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicornis) was found in one of the crevices that are on the tree trunks.

On a tree nearby were several of this beetle larvae. This is a good sign that the beetles are thriving.

Slightly away from the trail was a large fallen log with many fungus mushroom growing on it. On it were different types of beetle, such as this beautiful Ground Beetle (Catascopus dalbertisi).

On the log were several of this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis). It was wonderful to see so many of them on the same log as it has been a long while since I saw such a large number of them on one trip.

Next to the log was a Fungus Beetle resting on an air-potato leaf.

On the underside of the log was a beetle larvae feeding on some white fungus.

Perching on the cap of a fungus mushroom was a pair of mating Sap Beetle.

Moving on, we finally reached the "new" snow tree which I thought was destroyed by the heavy rain previously. Near to the snow tree was a rubber tree and under its leaves were several of this Fungus Weevils. I am surprised to find them under the leaves as they usually would rest on the tree barks. Not sure if there is anything to do with the whitish stuff that were under the leaves.

Just a meter away from the snow tree was a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) resting on a leaf.

Next to the Fungus Beetle was a broken tree branch and on it was a fungus mushroom with this Ground Beetle (Minuthodes multisetosa) under it. Notice the slight difference in the pattern between this Ground Beetle and the earlier one?

On the same tree branch was this round beetle (Martinezostes sp.)

Moving further down the trail, I was glad to find this rather calm Ground Beetle (Onypterygia longispinis). Usually this type of beetle is rather skittish and would fly away at the slightest of  movements.

On another tree nearby were these small 3 mm beetles.

On the snow tree was this lovely patterned Long Horned Beetle (Anacylus griseatus).

By the side of the snow tree was bronze color Chafer Beetle, munching its way on a leaf.

The reason why I kept switching between the snow tree and the trees surrounding it was because my friend and I would take turn to photograph whatever beetles that we found. Here's a small Long Horned Beetle (Eoporis elegans) resting on the side of the snow tree.

Just centimeters from the Long Horned Beetle was this small 5 mm Checkered Beetle.

At the base of the snow tree was a female Fungus Weevil (Anthribus wallacei).

On the reverse side from the Fungus Weevil was a small 5 mm Darkling Beetle.

While photographing the Darkling Beetle, this hyperactive Flat Bark Beetle was seen crawling aimlessly up and down the tree trunk. This was one of the difficult beetles to photograph as it tends to move around without stopping. Even if it stopped, it would be a very brief moment. This poor beetle seemed to be a nursery for a few dozen of mite eggs on its back.

I am very happy to be finding so many different types of Long Horned Beetle in one night. Here's is a 10 mm Long Horned Beetle (Pterolophia melanura) in a rather odd posture on a dead tree branch.

My eyes were tracking a Ground Beetle which was moving very quickly on the leave litter and was later distracted by this Darkling Beetle which was hiding in the leave litter.

Time passes quickly when you are having fun, and it was time for us to turn back. Just on the way back, I found this small 4 mm Ground Beetle (Dolichoctis striata formosana) moving actively on a dead tree branch. Notice the color pattern of this Ground Beetle is so similar to the two previous Ground Beetles?

The last beetle for the trip was a Fungus Weevil resting on a green lichen.

The trip was a fruitful one with two first-time-encountered beetles. The highlight of the trip was the encounter with the lovely colored juvenile snake. Sadly we didn't find any luminous fungus mushroom but the number of beetles encountered is well worth the time spent at the place.