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Saturday, 28 May 2016

Night Walk At Venus Drive (27 May 2016)

After the not so fruitful trip to the Kranji Marshes in the morning, I decided to make a short trip to Venus Drive. It was a last minute decision and so I hastily put together a speedlite  macro rig because my dual-arm flash sync cable was giving me problem and hence I decided not to use it for the night trip.

Here's a photograph of grasshopper resting under a blade of grass after molting.

The first beetle was a small 3 mm Darkling Beetle found on a small tree that lined the car park leading into Venus Drive trail.

Not too sure if it was because of the hot and dry weather or what, I was surprised to find few tens of this small 3 mm Darkling Beetles all over the trees by the side of the car park.

On another tree with the same kind of  Darkling Beetle was a beetle larvae, presumably the larvae of the Darkling Beetle given the color and pattern of the larvae.

On another tree, I found this interesting "stuff" which looked like the eggs of the Darkling Beetles that were found on the trees.

Moving away from the small trees, I came to a patch of tall lalang grass where this lovely Click Beetle (Pectocera babai) was found.

Near to the Click Beetle were several large Elephant Ear Plants where this Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea) was found under one of the leaves.

On a tree branch was this large 8 mm Darkling Beetle. This type of Darkling Beetle are commonly encountered and often missed because of its color and size.

The place was bone dry even though the vegetation was still very much healthy looking. I was surprised to find several small colony of Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) along the trail.

My eyes caught sight of some movements at the base of a tree and found this small 3 mm beetle larvae. This particular specimen was so active that I was not able to get very good shots of it.

Near to the beetle larvae was this 15 mm Darkling Beetle.

Coming to a fallen tree, I found this exceptionally skittish Ground Beetle (Catascopus dalbertisi) that ran off after one photograph.

On the same fallen tree were several of this Rove Beetle which promptly went into hiding upon detecting lights shining on them.

On another fallen tree nearby was a lovely Darkling Beetle hiding on the underside of the log. It was a challenge photographing it due to its odd position.

On the same fallen tree was another commonly encountered 10 mm Darkling Beetle.

Moving further into the trail, a small 4 mm Fungus Weevil was found on the side of a small tree.

On a palm leaf near to the Fungus Weevil was a Fungus Beetle (Amblyopus vittatus) actively moving around the leaf, probably disturbed by my camera flashes.

Coming to a wood pile, I found several of this small 2 mm beetle likely to be Fungus Beetle, on a piece of broken log.

Opposite to the wood pile was a small tree where this roundish 5 mm Darkling Beetle was found.

On a small tree further down the trail was this small 4 mm Ground Beetle (Minuthodes multisetosa) hiding in a crevice in the tree.

As mentioned earlier that the place was bone dry, it also meant that the forest floor was littered with dried up leaves. I was pleasantly surprised to find a Darkling Beetle resting on one of these dried leaves.

The highlight of the night was the encounter of this large 25 mm Weevil Beetle on the side of  a large tree. An interesting characteristics of Weevil Beetle is that they would drop off from their perch when they felt threatened. This was what this beetle did and it took me several minutes to find it again after it fell to the ground, due to its coloration and pattern which blended well with the leave litters on the ground.

On another tree nearby was this small beetle larvae high up the tree that gave me a bit of stretching.

Close to the beetle larvae was a first-time-encountered 4 mm Fungus Weevil found at the base of a small tree.

On the same tree was a small odd-looking beetle larvae. Not sure if it is alive or dead.

A stone's throw away was another better looking beetle larvae.

At the base of a small tree was a small 5 mm Click Beetle (Xanthopenthes schawalleri) hiding in a crevice.

I am quite surprised that although the place was bone dry, I was still able to find beetles. Here's a small 5 mm Martinezostes sp. beetle on a small log.

Near to the Martinezostes sp. beetle was a small 8 mm Weevil Beetle. This particular specimen was pretty calm and didn't fall off when I was photographing it.

On the same tree with the Weevil Beetle was a tiny 1 mm Fungus Beetle.

Just about 50 meters from the exit was this Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicornis) at the base of a tree.

The last beetle was a chanced find as I was not looking for it but was attracted to a tiny fly near to it. This Leaf Beetle (Hemipyxis semiviridis) was found just a few centimeters from the fly.

The trip was exceptionally fruitful even though the place was bone dry. What is noticeably missing were the  Eumorphus sp. Fungus Beetles which tend to be hard to find during dry seasons in the past. This trip also taught me a lesson of making sure that my macro rig should be ready to go at all times, as there were a lot badly taken photographs from this trip due to the last minute put-together macro rig.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Morning Walk At Kranji Marshes (27 May 2016)

I was on leave so I decided to bring my wife to the Kranji Marshes for a walk since she has not been there before. The last time I was at the place was in Feb 2016 and the number of beetles found during the last trip was reasonably good given the rainy condition then.

Here's a photograph of the entrance to the Kranji Marshes.

We were there slightly after 10.30 am but the temperature at the place was already pretty high. Because of the heat, not many insects were found except for millipedes and dragonflies. Here is a photograph of a tiny 3 mm first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle. It looks like another Leaf Beetle (Lema diversa) but lacks the metallic blue coloration of the Lema diversa Leaf Beetle.

The place was so hot that I was not able to find any beetles in the open, unlike my last trip to the place. The other beetle encountered at the place was a special treat for me as I have been wanting to photograph this beetle for a long time. During the last encounter, I was not able to get a good shot of the beetle, so I was thrilled to find two of this beetle on a . Here's a photograph of the Yellow Orchid Beetle (Lema pectoralis) munching on a orchid flower bud.

The trip was disappointing as I only managed to find two beetles during the two hours trip. Nevertheless, it was still a good trip as I managed to find a first-time-encountered beetle and a beetle that I have been wanting to photograph for a long time.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Night Walk At Pasir Ris Park (21 May 2016)

It been a while that I went macro photography with my friend HW and so we decided to go to Pasir Ris Park for a night macro photography session together. The most interesting encounter for the night was the sighting of this crab on a leaf. Although there is a mangrove area at Pasir Ris Park, this particular crab are easily 50 meters from the nearest body of water that I am aware of.

The first beetle for the trip was a small 5 mm Chafer Beetle. This beetle looks like the Maladera castanea Chafer Beetle but differs in that it is almost half in size and has translucent elytra. The weather must be right for this beetle as I found a number of this beetle during the trip.

Near to the Chafer Beetle was another commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus) resting on a leaf.

Although this is a commonly encountered Tiger Beetle (Cicindela auarulenta) at Pasir Ris Park, it has been a long time that I last come across them aggregated in large number within a small area.  On this trip, the place was full of them and you see them almost everywhere you turn. This is how they looked when they aggregate in large number.

This time round we started off from our usual end-point where the MRT Line ends. Not sure what is going on there, but there were quite a bit of construction activities going at the spot that we usually find different beetles. Thankfully for this trip, we were still able to find several of the usual residents at the spot, such as this metallic bronze colored 5 mm Leaf Beetle, moving actively on a leaf.

Close to the Leaf Beetle was another commonly encountered beetle at the spot, a Sweet Potato Weevil (Cylas formicarius). Do pardon the poorly taken photograph as for some strange reason, the lighting just didn't turn out right even though I didn't change any of the camera or flash setting.

The highlight of the trip is the encounter of this lovely Tortoiseshell Beetle (Laccoptera nepalensis).

Walking further down the track, I was thrilled to find this 20 mm Darkling Beetle.

On a small tree nearby was this small 1 mm Darkling Beetle.

At a patch of tall grass, HW and I were busily photographing this commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis). The reason why we were interested in this common Chafer Beetle was that both of us were testing out our new macro rig. HW was testing out his collapsible flash diffuser that has a built-in LED focusing light, and I was once again testing out my old dual arm flash macro rig. The interest in this particular type of beetle was because of its shiny elytra which is a good test of the flash diffuser.

Just a meter from the Chafer Beetle was this small 15 mm Long Horned Beetle, which we almost missed out while focusing on the Apogonia expeditionis Chafer Beetle.

After a while of walking, I was glad to find this small 8 mm Click Beetle (Xanthopenthes schawalleri) hiding in a crevice at the base of a big tree.

On the same tree was a 8 mm Darkling Beetle.

The last beetle for the trip was a smaller 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

Although there were no first-time-encountered beetle for this trip, I am happy that I am able to field-test my dual-arm flash mcaro rig. I am pretty satisfied with the results of the photographs except for the need to adjust the arms due to my walking movements. I guessed I will need to get a stronger dual-arm flash rig.