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Saturday, 26 March 2016

Morning Walk At Venus Drive (26 Mar 2016)

It has been almost 3 months that I did any morning walk at Venus Drive, so I decided to do so and at the same time test out my latest DIY flash diffuser. With me on this trip was my bestie Cameron and his children. It is always great to have Cameron even though he is not a fan of insects or creepy crawlies, but like what Cameron said - it is the company.

Here's a photograph of  a Mantidfly that we encountered during the trip. This is the second time that I came across this interesting insect.

The first beetle for the trip was a Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea) found under a large Elephant Ear Plant.

A stone's throw away was a small 3 mm Weevil Beetle. This beetle looks very much like an elephant and often reminded me of Sesame Street Big Bird's imaginary friend of named Snuffleupagus.

Further down the trail was a lovely Ladybird Beetle (Epilachna admirabilis). I am glad that the new DIY flash diffuser works well with this beetle.

It was only a short while that I reached the third "snow tree" and found this small 5 mm Fungus Weevil on it.

Not sure what to make of it but the place has been taken over by Air Potato Plants. The plants have made many of the areas less accessible as compared to a few years back when I started photographing beetles at Venus Drive. Nevertheless, flying among the Air Potato Plants were several of this Tumbling Flower Beetle (Glipa malaccana).

Coming to a patch of tall bushes, there were several of this white Ladybird Beetle hiding under the leaves. Unlike other Ladybird Beetles, this species of Ladybird Beetle is highly sensitive and would promptly fly off upon detection of movements, making it a challenge to photograph them.

Near to the white Ladybird Beetle was a small patch of Singapore Rhododendron plant where several of this roundish Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis) were found. The Singapore Rhododendron seemed to be the favorite food plant for this beetle.

Just when I was wondering why I didn't see the usual diurnal Leaf Beetles like the Lema diversa and Lema rufotestacea Leaf Beetle, this Leaf Beetle (Hoplosaenidea singaporensis) turned up.

Near to the Hoplosaenidea singaporensis Leaf Beetle was a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) resting on a rubber tree leaf.

On a fallen log near by was another Fungus Beetle resting on a Bracket Fungus Mushroom.

While I was photographing the Fungus Beetle, Cameron called out to me that they found something that I would be interested. Indeed I am thrilled to see this mating pair of Long Horned Beetle (Thranius bimaculatus) as it answered a question that I had a while ago - is the smaller size beetle a different species (because of the orange-brown legs) compared to the bigger specimens. This confirmed my suspicion that the smaller specimen is the male of the species.

Hiding under a dried-up vine on a tree nearby was a pair of Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus mirus).

The highlight of the trip was the encounter with this lovely Leaf Beetle (Trichochrysea hirta) found under a leaf. I have been wanting to get a good photograph of this beetle for a while and this came as a pleasant surprise.

Not too far from the Trichochrysea hirta Leaf Beetle was a Tiger Beetle (Neocollyris celebensis) . Sadly, it was rather active and I was not able to get a good photograph of  it.

Moving ahead, I found this small 10 mm Darkling Beetle (Strongylium tenuipes) on the side of a small tree.

It has been a while that I encountered this Leaf Beetle (Galerosastra sumatrana) and I promptly chased after it when I saw it flying into the bushes.

On the side of dying tree was this Checkered Beetle. It has been a long while I last encountered any Checkered Beetle and this was a treat for the trip.

On the same tree was this small 4 mm Ground Beetle.

Another highlight for the trip, a beautiful Jewel Beetle (Belionota prasina) foraging on a dying tree.

The last beetle for the trip was this small 3 mm Shiny Fungus Beetle hiding among a multi-layer Bracket Fungus Mushroom.

This is an enjoyable and fruitful trip with more than 20 different beetles encountered, with some escaping the camera because of their hyper-activeness. The trip was made even more enjoyable by the quips from Cameron. Thank you bro for the wonderful time!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Night Walk At Upper Seletar Reservoir (18 Mar 2016)

There was news that our neighbor country Malaysia is experiencing heat wave and it was expected to last up to April. Singapore being only a short distance away from Malaysia, is expected to experience higher than normal temperatures, and at the same time drier weather over the next 2 weeks.

I decided to go over to Upper Seletar Reservoir since I have not been there for a while. Besides the usual macro photography, I am also testing out a new DIY flash diffuser material that I came across recently. Here's a photograph of a lovely moth that I came across during the trip.

As expected, the place was almost bone-dry and many of the small streams that run through the place were all dried up. In my heart I was expecting the worse but this Chafer Beetle proved me wrong as it took less than a minute to find it, upon reaching the place.

Near to the Chafer Beetle was another commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis).

Further down the trail was a pair of mating Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus).

The surprise for the trip came early. Just a stone's throw from the Adoretus compressus Chafer Beetle was a first-time-encountered Chafer Beetle. This is an interesting Chafer Beetle with short hair covering the entire body.

A little further down the trail was another first-time-encountered Flea Beetle.

Moving into a less traveled path from the main road, I found this shiny Chafer Beetle that looked very much like the Apogonia expeditionis Chafer Beetle, except for the bigger body size and shiny coloration.

Interestingly, it seemed that most of the beetles found so far were all found on or near the Clidemia hirta plant. Coming to another small patch of Clidemia hirta plant, I found this lone Leaf Beetle (Hemipyxis semiviridis) resting on a leaf.

I was at the turn back point of the trail when I found a colony of sleeping Tiger Beetles (Cicindela aurulenta).

There are two return paths at the U-turn point and I initially took the original path back. I later decided to take the other return path and it turned out to be a good decision as I encountered many more beetles after.  At the return path, there were several  trees that lined the side of a small road. To my pleasant surprise, I found tiny beetles on them. Here's a photograph of a 3 mm Darkling Beetle found on one of the trees.

On another tree was this 2 mm first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle.

On the same tree was another tiny 2 mm beetle. This turned out to be the same type of Fungus Beetle that I encountered the week before.

Moving to another tree, I was thrilled to be able to find this 2 mm first-time-encountered Fungus Beetle.

Walking to some low bushes, I was so glad to find this lovely Click Beetle on a half eaten leaf.

Near to the Click Beetle was a fallen log and on it was this skittish Ground Beetle (Minuthodes multisetosa) which disappear after one photograph shot.

On the same log was a 5 mm Fungus Beetle that I have not encountered for a long while.

It was almost at the end of the trail that I found this interesting first-time-encountered beetle. Not sure what type of beetle this is. Noticed the interesting antennae shape of the beetle.

The trip was very fruitful with the encounter of 5 first-time-encountered beetles. This place is definitely a good place for encountering more beetles based on this and previous trips to the place.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Night Walk At Dairy Farm Nature Reserve (11 Mar 2016)

The weather was dry and I decided to give Dairy Farm Nature Park another try after the few times of unsuccessful trip at the place because of wet weather.

Here's a shot of a beautiful Leaf Hopper found at the place.

The first beetle for the trip was a 3 mm Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea) and it was at a right height so I was able to take a much closer shot of it.

Near to the Ant-like Beetle was a commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) munching on a blade of grass.

Walking past a small tree, I was glad to find this small 5 mm beetle on it. Not sure what beetle this is but it looked like a Fungus Beetle.

On the same tree was another 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

Moving to another tree, I found this first-time-encountered 2 mm Fungus Beetle (or I think it is a Fungus Beetle given the shape of its antennae). It looked very much like the Darkling Beetle that I often encounter during my walks, but differs in the direction of the "arrow" pattern on the elytra.

Walking to another tree with a patch of moss growing on its side, I found this Darkling Beetle as mentioned above. Compare the direction of the "arrow" on its elytra.

Moving further down the trail, these Chafer Beetles (Adoretus compressus) were mating under a leaf.

On a tree near by was a 5 mm Darkling Beetle.

Coming to a tree stump, a Pleasing Fungus Beetle (Micrencaustes lunulata) was found on top of a large bracket fungus.

Running crazily on another bracket fungus on the same tree stump was this small Rove Beetle. This has always been a challenge as apart from it being hyper-active, it is also very sensitive to light and would run away from the light.

On a fallen log near to the tree stump was this Darkling Beetle.

On the same log was another 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

On the lower part of the tree stump was a 3 mm Polypore Fungus Beetle. I have not come across this beetle for a long while and I was thrilled to be able to find several of this beetle on the tree stump.

On the same tree stump was a large patch of white fungus growing on it. Feasting among the white fungus were several of this first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle.

It was almost at the end of the trail that I found a colony of Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) resting on some low bushes.

The Tiger Beetles were exceptionally calm and so I decided to take a close-up of one of the beetles.

On a rotten log near to the Tiger Beetle colony was a 10 mm Ddarkling Beetle (Ceropria induta).

On a tree nearby were a number of this small 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

And also a few of these Darkling Beetles, looking like grazing cows in a meadow.

On the same tree were also several of these Darkling Beetles.

The last beetle for the trip was a Darkling Beetle (Strongylium tenuipes) found among a woodpile.

This trip was so much better than the previous few trips to the place and I am thrilled to be able to find two first-time-encountered beetles.