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Friday, 24 March 2017

Night Walk At Bidadari Cemetery (24 Mar 2017)

After seeing the construction works during our previous trip to the Bidadari Cemetery, we thought it is good to visit the place again before the place is fully under construction. When HW and I reached the place, we were sadden to see that the place where several Common Acacia trees (Acacia auriculiformis) were two weeks ago is now a mud ground, crisscrossed with bulldozer tracks. All the Common Acacia trees were uprooted and removed. With them were also the different Chafer Beetles we encountered during the last trip.

Not deterred by the sight, we pressed on and see what remaining critters we can find. Here's a photograph of a lovely yellow moth which is still in abundance at the place despite the construction works.

The first beetle for the trip was a Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicornis) found on a dead up rooted tree, lying in the middle of a grass-less field.

Searching through the greatly bruised and damaged vegetation at the edge of the contruction works, I was glad to find this small 5 mm Leaf Beetle, which promptly took off after one shot of the camera's flash.

Among the disturbed vegetation were a number of this brown-black Chafer Beetle.

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

After a while of walking, we were glad to come to an area where the construction work has not started. But looking at the surroundings, it is likely that the place would be gone in a week or two. It was also here that I found a large Click Beetle at the base of a small tree, and as I was approaching the beetle, it flew away. This is the same type of Click Beetle that I encountered during the last trip here (Click Beetle@Bidadari). I hoped that this Click Beetle would survive all the construction works and re-establish themselves in the new Bidadari Park.

This is something peculiar about Singapore, we seemed always to be "reclaiming" natural areas and making them into nature parks so that the public can enjoy and appreciate our natural heritage. Sadly, these acts of making nature more accessible to the public also destroy many of the habitats that attracted the creatures that we strife to preserve in the first place. IMHO, it may be good for NParks to just construct boardwalks or walking trails in these natural areas, so that the impact on the natural habitats are kept to the minimum. Bidadari Park is a good case in point as natural forested areas were cleared away for the construction of artificial pond and park areas for people to enjoy "nature". It will be years before nature would re-establish themselves again, but it will never be the same.

Enough of my rumblings and let me continue with the trip. We came to a naturally fallen tree and on it were several of this Darkling Beetle (Eucyrtus anthracinus). 

Near to the fallen tree was an area of thick low bushes where this Chafer Beetle (Aprosterna pallide) was found.

Near to the live Aprosterna pallide Chafer Beetle was a not so fortunate Aprosterna pallide Chafer Beetle, which became a spider's dinner.

There were pockets of trees around the place, some are small and others are really huge and tall. On one of the small tree was this 1 mm beetle. Notice the tiny critter near to the beetle, still smaller than the already small beetle. Amazing!

There is a large patch of Singapore  Rhododendron plant (Melastoma malabathricum) and Clidemia hirta plant where many of these commonly encountered Chafer Beetles (Adoretus compressus) were found.

Another commonly encountered Chafer Beetle. I am still trying to find out if this is a different beetle from the Adoretus compressus Chafer Beetle.

More Chafer Beetle (Maladera castanea) at the place.

The highlight of the trip was when HW called out with excitement that he found this brown color Sugarcane White Grub Beetle (Lepidiota stigma) among some low grass. This specimen was completely brown, very much different from the white color specimen that we encountered the previous trip.  Bidadari Cemetery is one of the two locations that I know have a healthy population of this beetle, and my sincerely hoped that they will survive the construction works and re-establish themselves again at the new park.

The last beetle for the trip was this large 15 mm Chafer Beetle (Phyllophaga marginalis) munching on a leaf.

The trip was not as expected due to progressive construction works at the place. From the look of things, this should be the last trip that we will have to the place - possibly until the new park is ready. Until then, all the best to the critters at the place and hope they survived this ordeal.