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Saturday, 31 March 2018

Morning Walk At Windsor Nature Park (31 Mar 2018)

I was so inspired after watching a You Tube video by a professional photographer on the Sony A6000 camera (which I am currently using), and so I decided to go for a walk at the Windsor Nature Park to try out some of the settings and functions of my camera. When I reached the place, my heart sank a little as the place looked like it just rained. Basically, this means a much lower chance of finding beetles.

The first place that I check was the spot where we found the Orchid Leaf Beetle (Lema pectoralis) during our last trip. Sadly, I only managed to find the larvae but not the adult beetle. Noticed that the larva has put on a coating of whitish stuff over its entire body.

The first beetle encountered was a 3 mm Spiny Leaf Beetle.

I was pleasantly surprised to find several of this 2 mm Jewel Beetle (Habroloma lepidopterum) on a low Singapore Rhododendron plant (Melastoma malabathricum) plant.

On a small tree nearby was this lone beetle larva.

Next to the small tree was a fallen tree where this lone 4mm Ground Beetle (Coptodera marginata) was running about.

Moving further, I was amazed to find a fallen tree full of beetle larvae. Here's a small part of the fallen tree and the number of beetle larvae on it was amazing.

Here's a close-up of one of the beetle larvae.

Further down the trail was this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) found on a dead leaf.

The highlight of the trip was this Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus pardalis) which I have not encountered for a long while. Interestingly, I encountered two specimens during this trip.

On another low  Singapore Rhododendron plant was this lone 5 mm Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis) happily munching on its leaf.

Another surprise find was this Tiger Beetle (Therates dimidiatus) which turned out to be a challenge to photograph as it was pretty skittish and kept flying around the bushes.

After a while of walking without seeing any beetles, this lovely 8 mm beetle was a welcomed sight. I am not sure what family this beetle belongs to. It looks like a Net-winged Beetle but lacks the usual net-pattern elytra which gave the family its name.

On a small tree was this well-camouflaged 4 mm  Fungus Weevil.

On an adjacent tree to the Fungus Weevil was this bright 2 mm Darkling Beetle.

While photographing the Darkling Beetle, a flying beetle zipped by the corner of my eye and landed on a small bush. Upon closer examination, it turned out to be a female Fungus Weevil (Apolecta aspericollis).  How I differentiate between male or female of this species is to look at the length of the antennae. The male of the species has antennae 5-6 times its body length as compared to the female which typically has antennae that are 2-3 times its body length.

The last beetle for the trip was a 5 mm Pintail Beetle.

For those who are observant, you would have noticed that many of the photographs in this post are not particularly sharp or the depth-of-field was pretty shallow. The key reason is that I was trying out different settings and functions on my Sony A6000 such as Auto-ISO, Auto-focus, Neutral-color, etc. I was rather disappointed with many of the photographs taken as they were not as sharp or defined as when on full manual. I am not sure of the reason, it could possibly be because of the continuous auto-focusing by the camera and coupled with the shallow depth-of-field, the photographs turned out badly.

Guessed that I am reminded of the adage "When it ain't broke, don't fix it!" and will go back to the camera settings that worked for me so far. 

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Night Walk At Windsor Nature Park (23 Mar 2018)

The weather for the week has been warm and dry, as such I decided to go to Windsor Nature Park as the place has a much higher chance of finding beetles even if the weather is not ideal. HW and Reynard were with me for this trip.

Here's an interesting looking Praying Mantis that we encountered at the place.

The first beetle was a 3 mm Darkling Beetle found on a small tree next to the car park.

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

The surprise find for the trip were these bright yellow beetle larvae munching on orchid flower buds.

On another flower was a pair of Orchid Leaf Beetle (Lema pectoralis). This is the first time that we encounter this type of beetle at Windsor Nature Park.

Moving further down the trail was another rarely encountered Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris quadripustulata).

Coming to a patch of huge Elephant Ear plants (Alocasia Macrorrhiza) where this lone Ant-like Leaf Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea) was found.

On a small tree was this 5 mm Darkling Beetle further down the trail.

On another tree nearby was another 10 mm Darkling Beetle.

Near to the entrance of the Venus Loop trail was this Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) on a low bush.

On another leaf of the same low bush was a Leaf Beetle (Hemipyxis semiviridis) that I often refer to as agar-agar Leaf Beetle because of its coloration looking like agar-agar.

Coming to an upright rotting tree, I was thrilled to find this male Darkling Beetle (Cryphaeus gazalle). The male of this species has a pair of long horn-like protrusion on its head. It has been a long while I last encountered this type of beetle.

Next to the Darkling Beetle was another beetle that I am not sure of its identity. I suspect that it is from the Darkling Beetle family.

On the same tree was this well camouflaged Weevil Beetle.

On the same tree were several of this 5 mm Darkling Beetle.

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

Further down the trail was this Darkling Beetle (Ceropria superba).

On a small tree near to the Darkling Beetle was this 4 mm Flea Beetle. The reason why it is called Flea Beetle is because of its bulky looking hind legs, very much like that of a flea. It has been years that I last encountered this type of beetle.

Further down the trail was this 25 mm Ground Beetle (Onyterygia longispinis) on a small tree. This type of Ground Beetle is usually very skittish and would fly away after one or two shots of the flash.

On a fallen log was this male 20 mm Fungus Beetle (Anthribus wallacei). The male of this species has super long antennae, which many mistaken it to be a Long-horned Beetle.

On a tree nearby were several pairs of this Fungus Beetle (Anthribus wallacei). Noticed the short antennae of the female beetle.

On the same tree were several of this lovely 4 mm Ground Beetles.

On the same tree were several of this Ground Beetle (Coptodera marginata).

On a low Singapore Rhododendron plant (Melastoma malabathricum) plant was this Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis).

Another surprise find was this Long-horned Beetle (Aeolesthes holosericeus) hiding at the base of a small tree.

On a dried up vine was this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus).

On a tree nearby was this 3 mm Fungus Beetle.

Moving further down the trail, there was a standing rotten tree where several of this beautiful Ground Beetle (Catascopus dalbertisi) were found.

Next to the Ground Beetle was a Flat Bark Beetle.

On the same tree were several of this Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicornis).

At the base of the same tree was another of the unidentified beetle. This beetle is different from the earlier beetle encountered by the color of its legs.

On the same tree was a Darkling Beetle (Ceropria induta).

On a large fallen log next to the trail was this 10 mm Pleasing Fungus Beetle (Micrencaustes lunulata).

On a small tree nearby was this 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

Near to the Darkling Beetle was a lone Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus westiwoodi).

On a small standing rotten tree were many 5 mm beetle larvae moving among some hair-like fungus.

The last "beetle" of the trip was this beetle larvae found on a small tree.

Although the weather was dry and humid, this trip was very fruitful with almost 30 different types of beetle encountered. Windsor Nature Park is indeed a great place for photographing beetles regardless of the weather.