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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.