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Sunday, 28 May 2017

Short Afternoon Walk At Windsor Nature Park (27 May 2017)

It rained the night before and hence I was not able to go for my usual night macro photography session, so I planned to go for a walk in the next day afternoon instead. It was between Seletar Reservoir and Windsor Nature Park, and looking at the overcast sky I decided to go to Windsor Nature Park as the chances of finding beetles on an overcast afternoon will be greater there.

Here's a photograph of a Jumping Spider that I came across at the place. The new flash diffuser seemed to work pretty well on this spider, as can be seen from its reflective eyes.

The first beetle of the trip was a Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea) found under a leaf of a Elephant Ear plant (Alocasia Macrorrhiza).

The place was rather wet from almost a week of rain, and it was so hot and humid that I was sweating like a pig only after a 10 minutes of slow walking. Coming to a standing dead tree, I was glad to find a pair of 5 mm Shiny Fungus Beetle, which I have not encountered for a long time.

The sky started to rumble with thunders and it looked like it may rain in a short while's time. Undeterred I decided to pick up my paces until I came across this 5 mm  Rove Beetle under a Bracket Fungus on a dead tree stump.

Near to the Rove Beetle was a wood pile where this 10 mm Fungus Weevil was spotted scavenging on tree trunk overgrown with small black fungus mushrooms.

On  the same log was a group of different type and size beetle larvae feeding on some brown fungus mushroom.

It was just about now that the lightning siren was sounded at the nearby Singapore Island Country Club. The siren was to warn golfers on the greens to stop because of lightning risk. From my past experience I know that it would rain in a short while after the siren was sounded. Nevertheless I was still pushing for the last few minutes before heading back. Just at the turn back point was a fallen tree where this lone beetle larvae was found moving actively on it, possibly looking for a place to hide from the impending rain.

The last beetle for the trip was a group of Fungus Beetle (Episcapha quadrimacula) found on a dead log near to the beetle larvae. Reluctantly after photographing this beetle I have to turn back as it looked like it would rain any moment. True enough when I reached the car park and got ready to go, it started to drizzle slightly.

It was indeed a very short 1 hour trip but I am glad to still be able to find the Shiny Fungus Beetle at the place. Windsor Nature Park (aka Venus Drive) has never failed to turn up interesting beetles each time I visit the place.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Night Walk At Punggol Promenade Nature Walk (19 May 2017)

My recent few attempts of going to Coney Island for my night macro photography have ended up being distracted by the many critters encountered along the way. For this week, I decided to keep to the plan and headed straight towards Coney Island. Sadly, my enthusiasm was greeted by a chain-locked gate with a sign to inform that the island is closed. Guessed that this is a "new" addition as those gates were not there when I was here 1.5 years back. [ Coney Island ]

Although I was not able to go into Coney Island, the trip was not wasted as there are still many critters to be encountered. I was pleasantly surprised to find 3 Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina) on this trip. I used to encountered many of them in the earlier days when Punggol was still a forested area, but sighting of them became rarer with the rapid development of the place.

For this trip, my young friend Reynard decided to join me at the last minute when I told him that I am planning to go to Coney Island. Although the trip did not go as planned, we were still being treated to some interesting find.

Here's a picture of a lovely 30 mm centipede found during the trip.

Reynard was slightly delayed so I proceeded towards Coney Island and along the way, I found a few lovely beetles. The first beetle was a Leaf Beetle on a stem of grass seeds.

Near to the Leaf Beetle was a fallen tree with several of this 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

Nearing the entrance of Coney Island, I was glad to find this lovely colored Soldier Beetle.

The highlight for the trip was the encounter of this small 5 mm Tortoiseshell Beetle (Aspidomorpha furcata) found under a leaf.

While I was photographing this commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis), Reynard turned up and we continued to move further down the nature walk.

On a small tree further down were several of this small 1 mm Fungus Beetle.

Hidden among a patch of low bushes was a badly damaged Ladybird Beetle. I am not too sure of the identity of this beetle but it looks very much like Coelophora inaequalis Ladybird Beetle.

While looking around a tree overran with creepers, I was thrilled to find this 28 Spots Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata) resting on creeper's leaf.

A stone's throw away was a 8 mm Leaf Beetle.

We were almost near the starting point when we came across this rather unique "picture" of a Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna implicata) with its larvae.

The last beetle for the trip was a Click Beetle (Pectocera babai) under a blade of grass.

We were just meters from the starting point when I came across this Reticulated Python (Malayopython reticulatus).

This trip to Coney Island was not to be, but the results was unexpectedly good. It was interesting to be able to find 4 snakes on this trip. This looks like a good place to visit again.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Night Walk At Punggol Promenade Nature Walk (12 May 2017)

I originally made arrangement with my friend HW to go to Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West for my weekly night macro photography session but I changed my mind and decided to go back to Punggol Promenade Nature Walk for a walk instead. In fact, the objective was to go to Coney Island to take a look, but we didn't make it far enough to enter Coney Island on this trip just like the previous one.

Here's a photograph of a large 10 cm green Praying Mantis encountered at the place.

The first beetle found at the place was a Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) resting on a low bush.

Near to the Tiger Beetle were several of this orange color Leaf Beetles.

There were many tall mimosa-like plants that lined the trail and on one of them was this sole Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus) encountered during this trip.

Further down the trail was this commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) on a low bush.

Moving further, I was glad to be able to spot this Click Beetle (Pectocera babai) on a low bush.

On a tree nearby were several of this small 3 mm Darkling Beetle. The color of the pattern on this particular specimen is more orange than red, probably because it has just emerged not too long.

Just a stone's throw from the Darkling Beetle was a lone Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna implicata) on a mimosa-like plant.

On a fallen log were several of this beetle larvae.

The place is full of different spiders and it is possibly due to the abundance of food. Here's a good example, a Chafer Beetle met its untimely death and became a meal for this spider.

On a small tree next to the trail was this small 1 mm Fungus Beetle.

The highlight of the trip was this small 2 mm first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle on a small leaf steam.

Time passes quickly and it was time to turn back. Just then I found this lovely Ladybird Beetle (Illeis koebelei).

We were almost near to the point where we started and I was thrilled to find a tree crevice full of these 3 mm Darkling Beetle, complete with eggs and larvae.

The last beetle for the trip was this 5 mm Darkling Beetle on a small tree.

The trip was reasonably fruitful even though we didn't manage to go to the Coney Island as originally intended.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Morning Walk At Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (10 May 2017)

It is public holiday in Singapore and so I decided to go to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve with my family for a walk. On the way to the place, dark clouds started to gather and just when I parked my car, it started to rain cats and dogs.

The rain stopped after about 30 minutes and we proceeded to walk to the summit.

All the vegetation were drenched to the bone and so I was mentally prepared for a totally washout trip.

As expected, the only critters that I came across were spiders, which interestingly were out in the open immediately after the rain. Here's a shot of a spider that looks a bit like an alien with 4 arms and 4 legs.

More spiders in the open.

Another type of spider with its water beaded web.

As we walked up the steep slop of Bukit Timah's main trail, I was pleasantly surprised to find a Pleasing Fungus Beetle (Micrencaustes lunulata) munching on a white fungus mushroom. Noticed how wet the beetle was.

No other beetles was encountered until we were on our way back down Bukit Timah when I found this Pleasing Fungus Beetle on a small fallen tree branch. This looked very much like a Micrencaustes lunulata at a cursory glance, but differed in the pattern on the pronotum and an additional pattern on its elytra. After some searching on the internet, this beetle could possibly be Triplatoma gestroi Pleasing Fungus Beetle.

I am glad to be able to find two beetles despite the rain, and I will surely come back to this place in the future.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Night Walk At Punggol Promenade Nature Walk (05 May 2017)

It has been more than a year that I last went to Coney Island for a walk as the last trip there was a  disappointment. Curious whether insects managed to establish themselves on the island, I decided to go there for my weekly night walk. In order to reach Coney Island, one would need to walk about 1 km along the Punggol Promenade Nature Walk.

As I walked the Punggol Promenade Nature Walk, I was "distracted" by a patch of low bushes and freshly fell trees. As I approached the place, I was surprised to find that the place was full of insects. Here's a shot of a 60 mm Praying Mantis found at the place.

I read about this particular spider, nicknamed "Pringles Spider" aka Kidney Garden Spider (Araneus mitificus) and thought it was pretty unique. I was thrilled to be able to find one during this trip. Here's sharing a photograph of this interesting spider, albeit a badly taken photograph due to the odd position when taking the photograph.

The first beetle for the trip was a 2 mm Darkling Beetle on a fallen tree. I am pleasantly surprised to find many of this type of beetle all over the place. I didn't find a single one of them during my last trip there.

On the same fallen log was this superbly camouflaged 7 mm first-time-encountered Long Horned Beetle (Prosoplus bankii). It was so well camouflaged that it took me a while longer to locate it through my camera lens.

Moving further down the stretch of low bush, I was surprised to find several of this lovely orange Leaf Beetles.

A stone's throw away was the highlight of the trip, a Soldier Beetle resting on a blade of grass.

Coming to a patch of sandy ground, I am glad to find several of this commonly encountered Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta).

I was really excited when I found several of this Leaf Beetle (Lema rufotestacea) at a nearby grass patch.

A meter away from the Leaf Beetle was this Fungus Beetle (Amblyopus vittatus) resting on a leaf of a low bush.

Just as I was thinking that there would not be any more other beetles to be found, I am once again surprised to find this Click Beetle (Pectocera babai) under a leaf.

Just meters away was this lone Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna implicata) on a stalk of grass.

I was just wondering in my mind that I have not encounter any Chafer Beetle on this trip, I found a few of this brown Chafer Beetle on several Sea Hibiscus (Talipariti tiliaceum) plant. When I saw the Sea Hibiscus plants, I was hoping to find a small Leaf Beetle that usually feeds on the plant's leaves. I didn't find any of the small Leaf Beetle but found this Chafer Beetle instead.

The trip was surprisingly fruitful with the encounter of different types of beetle, even though the place looked like it rained in the late afternoon. I will definitely make another trip to this place in the near future.