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Friday, 1 May 2015

Morning Walk At Venus Drive (01 May 2015)

It rained heavily the night before and so I decided to go to Venus Drive in the morning for a walk as the chances of finding beetles there is much higher, especially given the rainy weather. A surprise find at Venus Drive - a Red-Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). This is the first time I come across a Red-Eared Slider in Venus Drive, even though this is commonly seen at our parks and reservoirs.

Just as I was about to reach Venus Drive when it occurred to me that it may not be a good idea to go there on a public holiday (Labour Day) as it will be very crowded. Sure enough the place was full of people. With the wet weather and crowd, I was mentally prepared for a not so fruitful trip.

Interestingly, besides the wet weather and crowd, I also have to "wrestle" with a troop of Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis) that happened to be competing with me for beetles. This is the first time that I see them catching beetles. They were fast and agile, and the beetles (and other insects) were on the losing end.

Here's one of the younger macaque exploring a tree trunk for insects.

The heavy rain over the week has taken its toll on the trees at the place. Many tree were uprooted and were on their sides. Several of the trees were large trees, with some of them being my favorite trees to find beetle. Here are the photographs of some of them.

The first beetle was an Ant-like Leaf Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea), found under an elephant ear plant. Sadly, the number of elephant ear plant at Venus Drive seemed to be dwindling for some reason.

As expected, it was only after a while of walking before I come across of this black and white beetle larvae.

Coming to a wood pile, a lone Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) was seen on the side of a log.

While walking ahead of the troop of Long-tailed Macaque, a large beetle flew past me and landed on a log. It turned out to be a Long Horned Beetle (Coptops annulipes). While photographing the Long Horned Beetle, the troop of Long-tailed Macaque managed to catch up with me, and just then the beetle also flew off promptly into the tree canopy.

Coming to a fallen log with some fungus growing on it, I was glad to find several of this type of Sap Beetles.

Near to the above beetle were several other similar beetles and some interesting looking beetle larvae. This is the first time I come across this type of beetle larvae, and by their proximity with the Sap Beetle, I presumed that they are the larvae of the Sap Beetle.

Near to the Sap Beetle was another interesting looking beetle.

On a tree was a yellow and black beetle larvae.

Up the same tree with the beetle larvae was a Fungus Weevil.

More walking before finding this mating pair of  beetles. Not sure if they are Darkling Beetles or Fungus Beetles.

Under the shade of a wood pile was a lone Darkling Beetle.

Next to the Darkling Beetle, I was surprise to find a not so commonly encountered Darkling Beetle (Phymatosum rufonotatum).

At this point, I decided to explore the forested area by the side of the path. On one of the fallen logs overgrown with bracket fungus, were several of this Fungus Beetles.

Deep into the "bushes", I managed to find a colony of this Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis).

After photographing the Argopus brevis Leaf Beetle, I was happy to find a metallic blue color Leaf Beetle just above the Leaf Beetle.

After walking for a while without finding any beetle, this "long-time-no-see" 3 mm beetle was a welcomed sight. It has been a while that I last encounter them on my walks.

Coming to another wood pile, a Darkling Beetle (Ceropria superba) was found on a patch of white fungus.

More walking until this small 2 mm Fungus Beetle caught my attention.

On a rotting log near to the Fungus Beetle was a large 20 mm Pleasing Fungus Beetle. This particular specimen was very active and didn't stop for a  moment for me to photograph it.

Moving further down the path, a Fungus Weevil was found on the side of a tree.

Near to the Fungus Weevil was a fierce looking beetle larvae. I think it should be the larvae of a Ground Beetle.

More walks before finding this pair of beetles.

The highlight of the trip was the encounter with this small 3 mm first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle. I was thrilled to find it especially given the not so ideal weather condition.

Another highlight of the trip, a first-time-encountered 13 mm Click Beetle, found on the vine of a creeper.

I came to the part where a very large tree used to stand and was shocked to find that it had fallen and sawed into many large portions. On one of the sections of the tree was this lovely hairy Leaf Beetle (Trichochrysea hirta).

At almost the end of the path, I was happy to find one of my favorite beetles - a white Ladybird Beetle, on the underside of a large elephant ear plant.

The last beetle of the trip was a Ladybird Beetle (Chilocorus circumdatus) found on another leaf next to the while Ladybird Beetle.

The trip was unexpectedly fruitful even though the weather and crowd may have worked against me in finding beetles. I am happy to be able to find two first-time-encountered beetles, but sadden by sights of those large fallen trees.

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