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Friday, 1 January 2016

Short Walk At Venus Drive (31 Dec 2015)

It was a wonderful holiday break at one of my favorite places on earth - Cameron Highlands. This year the place was exceptionally cool at an average temperature of about 20C and dropped to as low as 12C in the early morning.

It has been several years that I last visited Cameron Highlands. Although I was mentally prepared to encounter a lot more people at Cameron Highlands during this trip because of the Malaysian school holiday, I was not prepared to see the extend of developments the place is undergoing. It was almost at every turn of the winding road of Cameron Highlands that one would find a new housing development. My heart sank as I see large areas of pristine jungle cleared away for the building of concrete jungle.

Nevertheless, Cameron Highlands is still a good place to visit given that you visit the place outside of their school holiday and weekends. Here's a photograph of the beautiful Lake House Resort at the lower altitude Ringlet Township.


Cameron Highlands was the place where my interests in beetle was first ignited. Besides the popular tourist attractions such as tea plantations and strawberry gardens, Cameron Highlands is also a place where you can still find big beetles. Here's a Stag Beetle (Dorcus reichi) that I found in the resort that I stayed. The number of beetles encountered during this trip was fewer than expected, possibly due to the cold rainy weather and the month of the year.


The weather in Singapore after I came back to Singapore was still very rainy as the monsoon season is still not over as yet. So it rained in the night before and hence I was not able to go for my weekly night walks and so I decided to go to Venus Drive in the morning after running some errands. Just as I was out of the house, it started to drizzle but I still proceeded, in hope that the rain was just confined to the area where I stay.

When I reached Venus Drive, the sky was clear but it showed signs that it rained slightly earlier as the vegetation was wet with rain. Not deterred, I carried on with the walk. Interestingly, the place was full of butterflies and I was fortunate enough to be able to photograph this lovely Malay Lacewing butterfly  (Cethosia hypsea hypsina).


The first beetle for the trip was a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) feasting on a rotten log.


The surprise find for the trip was a lovely Ladybird Beetle (Epilachna admirabilis) which was just meters from the Fungus Beetle.


There were not many critters encountered let alone beetles, because of the earlier rain. While I was walking along the path, at the corner of my eye I saw a flash of white that went under a leaf. Curious of what it would be, I quietly approach the plant and found this white Ladybird Beetle.


More walking without finding any beetles until I chanced upon a low bush where there were several of this small 3 mm Weevil Beetle.


A stone's throw away was a group of Tumbling Flower Beetle (Glipa malaccana) flying around some vegetation.


Further down the trail was a beetle larvae on a tree. It was good to see beetle larvaes as it is good sign that beetles are doing well at the place.


Coming to a woodpile, there was a Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicornis) hiding under one of the rotting wood.


Another surprise encounter was this small 3 mm Jewel Beetle found on a leaf.


After some more walking, I finally encountered the first and only Leaf Beetle (Graphops curtipennis) for the trip.


On a tree near by,a colorful beetle larvae was found moving about the tree trunk.


Next to the beetle larvae was a Fungus Beetle on a fallen log.


The number of beetles encountered so far was really worse then expected and just when I was about to call it a day that I encountered this small 3 mm Pintail Beetle on a small leaf.


As I was about to reach the exit of the trail, I was glad to be able to find these two small Fungus Beetle hiding in a crevice of a small tree.


The last beetle encountered for the trip was this small Darkling Beetle on a tree near the exit.


The trip was not as fruitful due to the earlier rain but nevertheless, it was still interesting to find the various beetles during the trip.