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Sunday, 24 January 2016

Late Afternoon Walk At Venus Drive (23 Jan 2016)

The weather was bright and sunny when I set out to Venus Drive. Just as I was about to reach the place, the sky looked like it just rained. Guessed that it would be another washout trip like last week. As I was already at the place, I decided to continue with the trip and see what I can find.

As expected, there were not many critters encountered. Here's one of the more interesting critters that I came across during the trip - a terrestrial flat worm.


The vegetation at the place were very wet and not a single critter was found until this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) found on the side of a small tree.


This Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus mirus) was found at the base of a big tree after a while of walking.


More walking until I encountered this lone Leaf Beetle sheltering on a Singapore  Rhododendron plant (Melastoma malabathricum).


On a nearby tree was this beetle larvae. When I zoomed in with my camera that I realized that there was a small wasp on it. It looked like a parasitoid wasp that I previously saw emerging from a dead beetle larvae. Guessed that this beetle larvae had just became an unwilling nursery for the parasitoid wasp.


The next beetle encountered was another Fungus Beetle (Episcapha quadrimacula) resting on a leaf. I presumed that the rain has forced it to take refuge on the plant.


The surprise for the trip was the encounter with this 15 mm Net-winged Beetle. I always enjoy finding this type of beetle because of its bright red coloration that contrasted beautifully with the green leaf that it was on.


My original intention was to turn back and call it a day since the chances of finding more beetles seemed slim due to the rain. After encountering the Net-winged Beetle, I decided to complete the trail instead. Just then, I found a small 2 mm Darkling Beetle on the side of a tree.


Just moments after photographing the Darkling Beetle, I bumped into a fellow macro-photographer. After a brief conversation, I am pleasantly surprised to find out that his name is David Ball, a person that I know online who has been contributing to the identification of some of the beetles in this blog. It felt great to be able to meet face-to-face with a fellow macro-photographer.

After the short chat with David Ball, I continued with my walk. I was pretty amused when I see these different species of Darkling Beetle in this position.


Near the end of the trail, the foot path became pretty muddy, which is typical of the place during the monsoon seasons. Just somewhere near to the "exit", I was glad to find this commonly encountered Tiger Beetle (Cicindela  aurulenta) scavenging on the muddy trail. I usually encounter this type of beetles during my night walks but rarely during the day. It is highly active and proved to be a tough subject to photograph given that it hardly stay still at a place for long.


Coming to the spot where a large tree was uprooted by strong wind and rain some time back, I am glad to be able to find a large colony of this Fungus Beetle. This particular specimen was munching on the whitish colored bracket mushroom.


The last beetle encountered before I exited from the place was a pair of mating Darkling Beetle.


As expected, the number of beetles encountered during this trip was pretty miserable, but it is still a good trip given that I got to field test my enhancements to my DIY flash diffuser.