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Saturday, 23 February 2019

Long Walk To Windsor Nature Park (22 Feb 2019)

The weather has been hot and dry for the past few weeks. Thankfully it rained on the first two days of this week, but it was short lived as the few days after were back to the hot and dry weather.

For this week, my friend HW and I decided to start earlier and walk from MacRitchie Reservoir to Windsor Nature Park.

Here's a photograph of a Long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) family encountered during this trip.

The first beetle for the trip was a Darkling Beetle (Strongylium sp.).

The highlight of the trip came early, a 15 mm Chafer Beetle (Holotrichia geilenkenseri) under a palm leaf. I first encountered this beetle many years back and identified it as Holotrichia geilenkenseri, but looking back I am not sure if the identification is accurate. Nevertheless, I will continue to use this name until someone inform me otherwise.

There were not many critters encountered let alone beetles, possibly due to the hot and dry weather. It was only after a while of walking before I found this lone 5 mm Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis) on a small leaf.

More walking without finding anything until this 5 mm Leaf Beetle turned up on a small twig.

After a while of walking, we finally reached the Windsor Nature Park. The place was very much the same as the trail leading from MacRitchie Reservoir - bone dry. Surprisingly, we still managed to find a number of beetles. Here's a photograph of a lovely Leaf Beetle with a bluish tinge.

On a tree nearby was a 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

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

There were a number of fallen trees along the side of the trail and on them were several of this 10 mm Darkling Beetle (Ceropria superba).

A short distance away, at the base of a small tree was this 4 mm Fungus Weevil.

Interestingly there were several of this Ground Beetle along the trail.

More walking without finding any beetles until we detoured into a spot where there were several fallen trees. This Fungus Beetle (Amblyopus vittatus) was found on a palm leaf.

At the base of a small tree at the spot was this matte black 5 mm Darkling Beetle.

On one of the fallen trees were several of this 10 mm Darkling Beetle. This type of Darkling Beetle are commonly found on fallen tree in the night.

On the same log was this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis).

Near to the Eumorphus assamensis Fungus Beetle was another 10 mm Fungus Beetle.

Next to one of the fallen tree was a small tree where several of this Ambrosia Beetle was found. It was quite a challenge to photograph them as they were actively moving around, attempting to avoid the focusing light of my camera.

Moving further down, a bronze colored Chafer Beetle was found on a small plant, but it "drop" promptly when we started to photograph it. Thankfully, it "dropped" onto a dry leave and we were able to photograph it.

Moving to another spot where there were several logs lining the trail, and on it was this lone Ground Beetle.

The surprise of the trip was the encountered of this pair of Long Horned Beetles (Epepeotes luscus). This photograph gives a good feel of the size difference between the male (left) and female.

The next beetle was fortunate that it didn't got crushed as it was on the ground just a meter from the Long Horned Beetle. This is a Darkling Beetle.

Moving on to an older fallen tree, I found this well-camouflaged Fungus Weevil under the tree.

Next to the fallen tree was a dead tree branch where this 25 mm Pleasing Fungus Beetle (Triplatoma gestroi) was found.

Moving on, we came to a relatively sandy spot and was surprised to find this lone Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta).

Time passes by quickly and it was almost time to turn back. Just then this Chafer Beetle was found by HW.

On a fallen long were several of this first-time-encountered beetle larvae.

Still on the same log, we managed to find two of this interesting Martinezostes sp beetle.

The last beetle encountered on the same log was this 8 mm lovely Darkling Beetle.

The trip was not as fruitful as expected, it was still fruitful given the dry weather. 

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Afternoon Walk At Windsor Nature Park (16 Feb 2019)

The weather for the past few weeks have been extremely dry with very little rainfall. This is not a good thing as plants started to wither and die, and with them the critters that feed on them. My friend HW and I were at the Lentor Avenue the night before and the trip was a total wash-out as we didn't come across any beetles at all. This was so different from last week where we still managed to find a few beetles despite the dry weather.

I happened to be free in the afternoon and decided to give Windsor Nature Park a try as from past experience, the place would still be fruitful regardless of the weather. When I reached the place, my heart sank as the place was drier than expected. This reminded me of the extreme dry spell around February/March of 2014, where it didn't rain for weeks in Singapore.

Here's a photograph of the place, you can see how dry the place by looking at the leave litters on the ground.

Here's a photograph of a lovely looking Katydid that I encountered during the trip.

I do not know the reason but it could possibly due to the dying out of the ground covers and low bushes as I was able to find the Red Jungle Fowl (Gallus gallus) at several locations during this trip.

The first beetle encountered was the commonly encountered Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) found at an open area. Notice how dry was the ground.

Sadly after walking for nearly 2 hours, I was not able to find any beetles. It was at the end of the trip that I found this Tiger Beetle (Cylindera versicolor) on a log. It was also the last beetle encountered for this trip.

The trip was a wash-out but it was not unexpected due to the extremely dry weather, and at the same time it was in the afternoon. From my experience, the chances of finding beetle in the afternoon is very low. Hoped the rain would come soon and we don't experience another dry spell as in 2014.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Recce Trip to Lentor Avenue (08 Feb 2019)

For this week, my friend HW and I decided to recce the Lentor Avenue for future macro-photography sessions. As this was the first time that we were there, we did not know what to expect.

The weather for this week has been dry and it can be clearly seen  from the limpy and dried plants at the place. There were not many critters encountered due to the dry weather. Here's a photograph of an Oriental Whip Snake(Ahaetulla prasina) encountered during the trip.

The first beetle for the trip was a 20 mm Darkling Beetle hiding in a crevice of a large tree.

Like in previous trips, these 2 mm Darkling Beetles were found in large numbers on trees.From the shriveled up moss you can easily tell how dry the place was.

The surprise find for the trip was this diurnal Tiger Beetle (Therates dimidiatus) resting on a leaf. This beetle was too alert and only a few shots were taken before it promptly flying away into the bushes.

The next beetle was a 8 mm Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) found at the base of a small tree.

The highlight of the trip was a first-time-encountered Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus militaris) found under a white bracket mushroom.

Near to the Fungus Beetle was a 3 mm Darkling Beetle in the crevice of a small tree.

Further down the trail was a patch of Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum) plants where several of this commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus) were found.

Another surprise find during the trip was this 3 mm Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea) found under a leaf of a tall bush.

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

The recce trip was considered to be successful as we managed to find a number of beetles despite the dry weather and us being distracted to move onto a Park Connector Network. We should be returning to the place for future macro photography  sessions.