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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.